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Fertiliser price hikes drive up input costs for farmers

Fertiliser costs have driven up the cost of farming inputs, with costs rising 4.54 per cent in the six months to February.

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Fertiliser price hikes drive up input costs for farmers

AF Group’s AgInflation index showed a 16.9 per cent jump in fertiliser prices, but all product areas saw increases.

 

Fuel prices rose 6.5 per cent, with feed up 4.8 per cent.

 

AF highlighted farm costs were rising faster than those of the consumer, with retail prices up just 2 per cent over the same period.


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Fertiliser prices 'higher than expected' and continuing to riseFertiliser prices 'higher than expected' and continuing to rise

AF Group chief executive officer Jon Duffy said: “Our figures once again highlight volatility within the marketplace, underpinned by weak performance of sterling against other major currencies and global supply chain issues.

 

Risk management

 

“This highlights the need for farmers to get to grips with risk management and control the controllables. Getting on top of costs is normally a good place to start.”

 

Prices for phosphate and potash have driven the fertiliser price rises, with ammonium nitrate prices unchanged year-on-year.

 

The weakness of sterling against the dollar and unrelenting US shale oil production led to a 6.5 per cent rise in the cost of fuel and the market was expected to remain volatile throughout 2018.

 

AF highlighted the International Energy Agency forecast of global demand for oils likely to be greater than production in 2018.

 

Adverse weather in South America, the closure of Vivergo’s Hull plant and a fire at a Citral plant in Germany led to a 4.8 per cent rise in livestock feed costs.

 

Vivergo

 

AF livestock business development manager Thomas Baines-Sizeland said the Vivergo closure had made wheat distillers unavailable.

 

And mineral prices had ‘rocketed’ following a fire at the BASF factory in Germany in October.

He said: “As a result, £2-£9/tonne has been added on to ruminant and monogastric compounds.”

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