Majors predict higher demand for nitrogen


By Roger Chesher

BOTH Terra and Hydro have been communicating their thinking about the new fertiliser season, and their line on nitrogen is pretty comparable.

They expect higher demand than in 2000/2001, and are offering deals on a cash-only basis, with incentives for the early buyer.

Hydro now operates on an ex-works basis and quotes granular “Extran” at 97/t for July. But with the books about to close on this month, Extran will rise to 99/t for August.

Extran will soon be available from a number of locations in the UK. But transport legislation requires a licensed haulier to carry ammonium nitrate, so collection by tractor and trailer will not be an option.

With production 365 days a year, logistics offer about the only opportunity to maximise returns for the manufacturer, or to save money for the farmer.

The economic unit is an articulated lorry load of 24 tonnes, and the biggest savings are to be had when this is moved straight from the bagging plant or dock to the farm in one go.

Manufacturers will be less interested in negotiating large tonnages for later in the season and more interested in avoiding storage and handling costs now.

An on-farm price of 106-107/t makes Extran look cheap compared to UK-produced ammonium nitrate. But remember that imported Extran is 33.5%N compared to domestic 34.5%.

If you do the comparison, the August price equates to 110-112/t; the same as the other big producers. Hydro also markets a 34.5% prilled nitrogen sourced from Terra.

Market trends: The early market is active, the PK market still slow and the grass market reasonably buoyant at unchanged prices.

CURRENT PRICES

New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5%

August domestic nitrogen

Imported urea (if available)

Imported AN

Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16

Blended 25.5.5

Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t

July 108-110

110-112

Granular 118-120

98 when available

116-117

113-115

No market

NPK

July, pay cash

NS products

Complex 25.5.5

118-120

108-110

15.15.20

143

20.10.10/29.5.5

121

17.17.17

148

After-cut NK cash

0.24.24

TSP (47% P2O5) bagged

Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged

118

110-114

125

122

 

IRELAND


Forecast spring prices

 

Urea

CAN

24.6.12

0.16.36

Complex compounds
27.6.6

Northern Ireland

No market

110

130-135

No market

130

 

CAN

24.21/2.10

Urea, imported

27.21/2.5

Republic of Ireland*

140-145

175

No market

170-175

*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

  • IR1=UK77.82p; US$1=UK70.97p on 18 July

     

    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

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