TERRA NITROGEN has joined other UK suppliers by withdrawing offer prices for ammonium nitrate as the gas nightmare continues.
But such is the volatility of forward gas costs that this week (w/e Oct 15) it has receded to 60p/therm, a drop of 20p on last week’s price (w/e Oct 8).
There are hopes that it will continue to drop further as mild weather continues.
Even at this price, ammonium nitrate should be valued close to £180/t, which is a big difference from the last published price of £148/t.
Then high gas prices are compounded by problems with the purchase and shipping of raw materials generally.
This is certainly the most difficult and unpredictable period in the fertiliser industry since the oil crisis of 1974 when producers declared force majeure on pricing.
A delay in organising spring pricing during the current rather quiet market period is hoped to prevent such an occurrence again.
While it is hoped that AN will not approach the £180/t level, clearly £150/t is unsustainable.
There are reports of some complex compound “new” prices for November, putting 27.5.5 at £158/t delivered but the full picture will not become clear until the end of the month.
While the publication of a firm spring price is important to stimulate business, remaining customers in the grassland sector increasingly tend to take fertiliser only at the application period.
They will also remember a price dip in the spring price last season and may well hold on until the last minute hoping for a similar event this year.
When, eventually, they do come to market, prices will come as a shock.
Nitrogen (Domestic) N (SP5) 34.5%
Imported AN Lithuan
No market yet
|Trace elements||0.24.24||TSP (47%P2O5)||Muriate of|
|Copper, zinc, selenium,|
cobalt Iodine and sodium Per acre pack £11.10
|Blended £130-5||£142 rising||£131|
Benchmark prices. Compounds out of season.
Urea, existing stocks only
CAN, large price variations
27. 2.5 . 5
(dependant on source and quality)
€200 import blend
*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.
Note All illustrated prices are based upon 24 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.