By Roger Chesher
IT is hardly surprising that under the current weather conditions, fertiliser could not be further from farmers minds.
New orders are therefore non-existent and no one is really interested in taking delivery of orders placed earlier.
The industry is not dormant, however.
On the world scene, urea takes centre stage and looks very competitive compared with ammonium nitrate at present. This is because India has left the market.
But a drop of US$4-5/tonne on the seas will soon be absorbed in margins before urea reaches the UK farm gate. And unless farmers are prepared to pitch in and bring in their own boatload, urea will be sold at market prices.
Kemira Agro have issued an interim statement for January-September, which shows sales world wide up 8% on last year.
However the result for the period was an operating loss of E1.9 million against a loss in the same period last year of E14.3m.
The high cost of natural gas, the prolonged shutdown in the UK and costs associated with closing operations were blamed for these losses.
In the UK, Kemira Agro anticipate closing the year end just in the black, which will be essential if they are to achieve the long overdue ownership changes .
Prices in mainland Britain have hardly changed, whereas in Ireland, which is almost totally a spring market, merchants and blenders are building stocks.
Importers in both the north and south are unlikely to bring in cargoes until the usage period, and current pricing is meaningless.
However, indications of spring prices are beginning to emerge and inevitably they are high.
New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5%
Anticipated spring price nitrogen
Imported urea (if available)
Imported AN (new season)
Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16
|Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t|
No market yet
No market yet
November, pay cash
January, pay cash
April, pay cash (forecast)
After-cut NK cash
TSP (47% P2O5)
Muriate of Potash (60% K2O)
IRELAND CAN 24.6.12 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 on 20-tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.
Source: Bridgewater Partnership