Fertiliser orders dry up


By Roger Chesher


THE market continues to be extremely quiet and – as is usual in such circumstances – prices have not changed.

The October “book” remains open at 120 delivered farm for domestic nitrogen but will, we are assured, move to 122 in one weeks time.

Manufacturers are speculating why farmers have ceased ordering.

It could be a matter of farm cash flow, a reluctance to seek credit, the late harvest and appalling drilling conditions, or a belief that somehow prices will fall in spring, perhaps by some change in Europes heart over anti-dumping legislation.

Having painfully restructured to the extent where they will finally be in the black this year, if only by a little, the majors are highly unlikely to relinquish the price structure they have just struggled to achieve.

So if any significant price reductions are to happen this spring they will have to come from imports.

This is only possible if the supply/demand equation swings such that imports are over-supplied.

Otherwise importers will be quite happy to pitch their price at the customary 10.00 differential and make a profit.

There are 60 working days between now and February when top dressing starts and as much as 500,000 imported tonnes of nitrogen could well be required.

Thats over 8000 tonnes or three vessels a day, each one taking three days to discharge.

Even allowing 100 days to the end of March, the figures are enormous.

So, we need to have nine vessels each day in UK ports from now onwards, plus those required for urea, MAP and potash.

Set that against the situation where most Polish production is going for domestic use, Russian material is starting to go likewise, and there is strong demand in USA and Canada.

Throw in the currency situation, and the prospect of cheap imports this spring looks very remote.

CURRENT PRICES

















New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5%

Anticipated spring price nitrogen

Imported urea (if available)

Imported AN (new season)

Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16

Blended 25.5.5
Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t


October 119-120
November 122
December 124


January 130
February 132
March 134


Granular 140-144
Prilled 130

110 (Quality)

No market yet

No market yet

No market
























NPK

October, pay cash

January, pay cash

April, pay cash (forecast)

Complex 25.5.5

120

126

134

27N30S

122

132


20.10.10/29.5.5

123

129

137

17.17.17

140

146

152













After-cut NK cash

0.24.24

TSP (47% P2O5)

Muriate of Potash (60% K2O)

118

106-115

130

122

 

IRELAND

















 
Imported urea

CAN


24.6.12


0.16.36


Complex compounds
27.6.6


Northern Ireland

Not available

95

No market

No market

117-122















 

CAN


24.21/2.10


Urea, imported


27.21/2.5


Republic of Ireland*

120-124

No market

Not available

No market

*Note in the Republic of Ireland nutrients are expressed as elements not oxides. Analyses will not be directly comparable with those used in the UK.

*Prices in the Republic are IR

  • IR1=UK73.75p; US$1=UK70.37p on 26 October

     

    Note All illustrated prices are based on 20-tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.

    Source: Bridgewater Partnership

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