By Mike Stickland
NEWS of a new £19/ t additional duty to be introduced on imported ammonium nitrate has shaken the market out of its lethargy.
This duty will only apply to Russian product, so there has been a rush to buy Polish. At the moment there is no Lithuanian or Ukrainian on offer, but it is expected that it will be offered in the low £80s delivered.
Many merchants have already raised their price on imported AN to around £90 to £92/ t delivered. Domestic product is now in the £100 to £106/ t range.
As yet, UK manufacturers have not announced a price rise to the trade, though it is likely they will do so when the increased anti-dumping levy takes effect.
Merchants are not only worried about the logistics of getting fertiliser delivered to farm on time – but are now becoming concerned that there could be a physical shortage.
While the international market awaits the introduction of the new duty, there will be no cargoes arriving. And UK buyers will be in competition with France and Sweden for non-Russian supplies.
There is little unsold AN in store and it is debatable whether the UK producers will have enough stocks to fill the gap.
Fertiliser prices, February 1998 (£/t) (updated monthly)
Region Domestic AN Imported AN 20-10-10
South East 100-102 88-92 111-116 105-120
South West 101-106 90-94 112-117 105-120
East Anglia 100-104 88-92 110-115 104-120
Midlands 100-105 90-93 112-116 106-121
Wales 104-106 92-94 113-118 NM
North East 100-105 90-92 111-116 105-120
North West 101-105 92-95 112-117 NM
Scotland 100-105 90-95 112-117 NM