By Roger Chesher
IN Ireland, the market is just starting and merchants start to de-stock but, as in Britain, the lack of business is totally unusual.
With the impact of possible farm cutbacks yet to be assessed, small boatloads of imported urea starting to appear and general market unease, prices in Ireland are under pressure.
Nitrogen prices have pegged back slightly from the initial guidelines but compounds, especially in Eire, are, if anything, higher.
The mainland UK market does not behave in the same way and easing of pricing is not likely.
Leeway, if any, will be found in the blender sector, where manufacturers will be anxious to generate returns on the raw materials already purchased.
With very little change in the marketplace since last week, the almost unthinkable has happened as manufacturers reduce production at what should be the peak period.
Kemira has, reportedly, temporarily shut down one of its nitric acid plants to stem manufacture as farmers throughout the UK continue to hold off purchase and delivery of fertiliser.
Hydro, now importing nitrogen supplies, can delay importation or divert it to other markets.
Admittedly, conditions for spreading are not quite right in many parts of Britain and farmers will hold off until the last possible moment, but foot-and-mouth fears and restrictions are having a major impact on fertiliser movement.
Logistics continue to be the major concern at all levels, manufacturer, merchant, and hauliers, as more and more potential business is funneled into an ever-declining time scale.
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
|Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t|
March, pay cash
April, pay cash (forecast)
After-cut NK cash
TSP (47% P2O5) bagged
Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
IRELAND CAN 24.6.12 0.16.36 Complex compounds
Domestic prilled 150
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