By Roger Chesher
THE 2000/2001-fertiliser season draws to an end with a flurry of sales in May, all of which are for immediate use.
The spring as a whole will have disappointed suppliers expectations, with low volumes caused by poor weather and reduced plantings, topped off by foot-and-mouth.
May, however, made up for this in part as farmers could finally get on to crops for top-dressing.
The high level of sales led to some competition in the marketplace and prices have fallen back by a pound or two on previous weeks, but the big price drop was, of course, at the beginning of the month.
Some suppliers have expressed surprise at the size of orders, some as little as 1.5 tonnes, which means that users would need to pay a hefty premium for so small a delivery.
There must be sense in pooling orders and sharing the savings where possible.
With the new season pricing imminent, there is only speculation that nitrogen will be pitched around 108-110 in July.
Importers are still clearing the decks before committing to new material but should be able to compete at around 100 when the time comes.
The big question remains; will farmers benefit from buying early in the 2001/2002 season as they have in this?
On balance they should, as demand next spring is forecast to be considerably higher than this.
New-season 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|
June, pay cash
July, imported N
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