By Mike Stickland
AFTER a relatively brief busy spell, the market has become very dull. Business is being done, but in small lots for immediate delivery.
Big manufacturers seem to be behaving differently, with Hydro taking a firm line at a higher price level to about £108/ t delivered farm. Terra seems to be available at about £100/ t, while Kemira appears to be somewhere in between.
Imported ammonium nitrate prices have not been raised by the eventual implementation of the anti-dumping levy on Russian material, and late-arriving cargoes with some unsold tonnage are weakening the market further. Good quality imported material is now available for £90/ t in most areas.
This year there have been a number of buyers who have stuck to straight N, reducing the NPK market overall.
Urea seems good value on a unit basis; granular urea is available at under £120/ t. With the NK after-cut blends market just starting, it is difficult to put a firm price in the market. But UK product could be available at about £100/ t.
Fertiliser prices, April 1998 (£/t) (updated monthly)
Region Domestic AN Imported AN Urea prill/granule 20-10-10
South East 100-108 88-92 108/118 110/115
South West 100-106 88-94 108/120 111/116
East Anglia 99-104 87-92 108/118 110/115
Midlands 100-107 89-93 108/120 111/115
Wales 101-109 90-94 NM 112/116
North East 100-108 86-92 109/120 110/115
North West 101-108 88-94 NM 111/116
Scotland 100-109 89-94 NM 110/115