By Roger Chesher
PROSPECTS for fertiliser suppliers in the spring are beginning to look rather alarming.
With 1m tonnes of nitrogen and 1.75m tonnes of compounds yet to be delivered, there will be an enormous rush of activity.
Deliveries are down on last year and forward orders are slow, but 30% higher arable plantings will give rise to increased demand.
Imports are some 20% below this time last year and few vessels are forward-booked as merchants wont commit and importers are not prepared to take the risk.
The Russian AN anti-dumping import levy has still to be ratified but should come into force after Christmas.
Russian material accounts for about 25% of the AN imported into Britain, or approximately 7% of our total market.
But it is not this delay that is hindering imports – what everyone really needs is an active market to get things moving.
Hydro and Kemira have run their November prices into December and Terra will undoubtedly follow suit, but there is little doubt that prices will go up by 2/t a month from January.
The danger for farmers is that the huge bottleneck in the spring could unbalance the supply and demand, which will enable merchants, importers and manufacturers to recoup more than a 2/t increase.
But, despite the whole industry telling customers to “get it bought” the mood is still for just-in-time purchasing, irrespective of price.
New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5%
January domestic nitrogen
Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16
|Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t|
After-cut NK cash
TSP (47% P2O5) bagged
Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
112-114; market virtually over
IRELAND CAN 24.6.12 0.16.36 Complex compounds
Republic of Ireland*
*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
Note All illustrated prices are based on 24-tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.
Source: Bridgewater Partnership