Firming urea markets, higher energy prices and stronger calcium ammonium nitrate and ammonium nitrate prices in Europe have led to ‘higher than expected’ new season fertiliser prices.
CF Fertiliser has announced new season prices and Nitram and N+S was up on the previous two years.
ave Mitchell, Wynnstay fertiliser manager, said prices were more than 20 per cent higher than last year and were continuing to rise.
“The AN and CAN markets were launched in Europe in mid-May at €10 higher than 2017," he added.
"These terms were seen as attractive, which has encouraged forward purchasing for the next year, with uptake from both trade and farming. This increased demand has consequently pushed up prices a further 8-10 per cent."
Calum Findlay, Gleadell’s fertiliser manager, said despite the rises, prices were well-received and the allocated tonnage for June and July movement was soon sold out.
He added activity had slowed in the urea market this week, but despite this, prices firmed.
The late spring across northern Europe has also meant manufacturers’ stocks ahead of the new season were tight and this would remain the case going forward.
Mr Findlay said: “Values have moved up and offers here are now for August movement only, as the UK market continues to track European values higher.
“In the UK, imports remain limited. However, where product is available, imported AN can be picked up at a small discount to UK product.
“Globally, stocks remain tight for June shipment, and this will continue to support prices, especially if India decides to enter the market before the end of the month.
"However, producers’ July stocks remain largely unallocated and this may lead to the recent rally running out of steam if demand slows."
Mr Mitchell said the increases were due to increased purchases in Brazil, China’s absence of exports and ‘an anticipated tender’ from India.
“Unlike last year, prices are changing daily to meet the demand for storage tonnes for next season applications, as tonnes have been restricted and are expected to sell out quickly," he added.
"There is already tight availability of stocks at July prices and I would recommend producers order now to benefit from the most competitive pricing.”