By Roger Chesher
WITH Kemira, the compound leader, easing prices last week, Terra, the nitrogen leader, has responded by reducing nitrogen prices.
Domestic nitrogen now stands at 125/t on-farm, a very attractive price compared with existing stocks of imports at 118-120/t.
As always in this industry, all the major players rapidly responded to each other so that nitrogen prices are on a par, unit-for-unit.
Hydro and Kemira complex granule prices are also similar and Terra quality blends are 2/t cheaper.
The lower nitrogen price should enable blenders to respond to the new compound prices, although the gap between blend and complex was so great that they may not need to do so.
These moves were intended to kick-start the market and regain share from the blenders but, while the engine has indeed been started, it is still only coughing and spluttering on three cylinders.
Farmers will only buy product when they need it, and the grass market may well hold on until next season when nitrogen could be as low as 110/t again.
The fertiliser season runs from July to end-June, with prices starting low and rising throughout, at least in theory.
Within the industry, a paper by the director-general of the International Fertiliser Industry Association, recently published by the Fertiliser Society, concludes that the world price trend for fertilisers is downwards.
Periods of low prices have been longer than periods of high prices and there seems to be one “good” (for the manufacturers) year in four.
A persistent global shortage of any of the fertiliser nutrients is unlikely in the foreseeable future.
Nitrogen (SP5) 34.5%
Anticipated new-season (July) domestic nitrogen
Imported urea (if available)
Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16
|Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t|
May, pay cash
JUly, imported AN
After-cut NK cash
TSP (47% P2O5) bagged
Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
IRELAND CAN 24.6.12 0.16.36 Complex compounds
Forecast spring prices
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 20-tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.
Source: Bridgewater Partnership