16 February 2000
‘UK gazumped as fertiliser goes astray’
By Vicky Houchin
FERTILISER is becoming increasingly hard to source. Industry rumours are circulating that shipments destined for the UK are going elsewhere for better prices.
Many traders claim to know someone who has fallen victim, and the situation is said to be particularly bad on the east coast.
Neil Taylor, sales and marketing manager at Usborne Fertiliser, says he wouldnt be surprised to hear it was happening, with the strong demand for urea and short supply across Europe.
Urea prills have risen almost 30% since November to 105/t delivered to farm while granular urea is now unavailable.
Purchasing manager, Phill Collins, of Framlingham Farmers, says some companies who had orders and thought they had a boat had found they had none.
“People are reluctant to admit its happened to them, and farmers who are concerned they wont get deliveries are chasing.”
According to Mr Collins there is very little surplus nitrogen available.
He has heard of cases where traders are endeavouring to get October and November deliveries on-farm now.
Dalgetys fertiliser manager, Gary White, says any problems the company had with shipments have been sorted.
“Its not been easy, its been a real pain getting [fertiliser] here.”
He blames the recent price rise on a general nitrogen shortage caused by European plant closures and increased exports to America and the far East.
“The ordering pattern from farmers is behind last year so the delivery side is also a little more difficult,” he adds.
Dalgety is expecting all its ships to be in by next week, but with sources drying up quickly Mr White says farmers who havent bought any yet they should get some on farm soon.