By Roger Chesher
A VISIT to one of the major ammonium nitrate producers this week illustrated just how rapidly things can change when the fertiliser market gets going.
Whereas just a month ago all kinds of product was stored around the plant, today the cupboard is virtually bare with nitrogen and some compounds now on allocation.
The swing in the supply-and-demand equation continues to push up the price of nitrogen, with some March orders even taken at 110/t.
This price is an exception however, with most prices around 97-103/t for new business on-farm as we go into March, and the expectation of a norm around 105/t later in the month.
Imports are limited to those cargoes booked earlier and there is no guarantee that these will turn up.
New business is very limited or not available at all, with urea very tight.
Prilled urea is trading about 97/t on-farm, with granular totally unavailable. Imported prilled AN should be around 94/t on-farm for new business.
If rapidly rising nitrogen prices are causing concern at the farm gate, some consolation can be had in that compounds are not following so steeply.
This is partly because the supply-demand balance is less critical and partly due to the natural reluctance of manufacturer and merchant to place undue pressure on farm input costs.
In Ireland, cold wet weather has stilted activity, and little has changed since last week.
Phosphate and potash prices have also both hardened.
- IR1=UK0.776 on 29 February
- Latest FWi/Kemira T°-Sum
Immediate delivery N (SP5)
March delivery N pay April
Imported N deliver March
Liquid N, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
£97-103 – but hurry
Granular unavailable; prilled 97
£94 higher quality
£93-98/100,000 litres or £72-76/t
February, pay April
N/S (High S)
TSP (47% P2O5)
Muriate of Potash (60% K2O)
IRELAND CAN 0.23.24 0.16.36 Complex compounds
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 upon 20 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably. Source: Bridgewater Partnership
*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 upon 20 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.
Source: Bridgewater Partnership