By Roger Chesher
MARKET opinion is divided regarding business activity this week.
Nitrogen still fails to find many buyers in the arable areas, but activity in more westerly livestock areas is picking up.
Dairy farmers in particular are starting to take deliveries of high nitrogen compounds, urea, ammonium nitrate and, increasingly, specialist spring grazing products such as Terras Turnout and Kemira Early Bite.
The grassland fertiliser season has been early in recent years thanks to an upsurge of interest in extended grazing and the increasingly early arrival of T°-Sum 200.
Whereas some farmers would normally take substantial tonnages, this year most seem to be restricting themselves to that required for the first dressing only.
With smaller orders, the nitrogen price in the west is approaching manufacturers aspirations for £90/t after Christmas.
Low activity in the east is reflected throughout Europe and weak international prices are inhibiting importers from taking a forward view.
Forward buying is also hindered by a substantial reduction in the amount of farm gate credit currently available.
Merchants and manufacturers are becoming increasingly uneasy regarding their ability to meet large volumes of spring spot business, not least because of the mounting crisis in haulage reported earlier.
NPK prices remain largely unchanged and farmers should expect to discount these by £5.00 for blended material when it becomes available.
Early Bite-type products currently attract about £12/t premium over 25.5.5.
In Ireland, in both Province and Republic, the market is completely dormant and prices have yet to be issued prior to the post Christmas usage period.
The market for raw materials has started however, as blenders begin to accumulate stocks.
Immediate delivery N
January/February delivery N pay April
Imported N deliver December
Domestic 0.24.24 blended
Liquid N, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
&prilled – no market
£72-76 depending on quality
£95/100,000 litres or £76/t
January/February, pay April
15.15.20 pre-Christmas (complex)
N/S (High S)
N/S (Low 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