By Roger Chesher
AS predicted, newly published prices for after-cut fertilisers (NK and NKS products) have brought some respite to farmers paying 134/t for domestic nitrogen.
At 120-121/t on-farm, Kemira was the first to pitch in, presumably in an attempt to kick-start flagging mid-season grass sales.
Prices for mid-season grazing grades have also pulled back, with 25.5.5. at 121/t and 20.10.10 at 124/t. These are for complex granular compounds, expect to pay 2/t less for Terra quality blended equivalents.
Blended 25.5.5. is currently around 118/t and with many blenders having already purchased their nitrogen, the ability to further reduce nitrogen prices will not be easy.
This mid-season after-cut market is always competitive, so no one should be under any illusion that reduced prices are in some way related to last weeks announcement concerning the OFT investigation into fertiliser pricing.
Although the market has picket up a little, sales are still far from buoyant, although the floodgates are expected to open any day now.
The size of this expected flood of orders is hotly debated at present and will be nowhere near as large as usual. Best estimates are between 600,000-1.2m tonnes total, compounds and nitrogen, before the end of June.
In July, nitrogen prices will come back to 110/t or 95-100/t imported for the early buyer.
The Irish market is also reported to be some 20% down and slow, and compound prices there have slipped back a little.
Within the industry, Kemira has announced measures to strengthen the value of its nitrogen business in Europe in view of its intended sale, moving nitric acid production from Rozenburg in Holland to Belgium and selling its interest in the site at Rotterdam.
There is no news of the fate of the site at Ince, near Chester.
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