Farmers have started purchasing fertiliser for next year, with merchants around the country reporting increased activity over the last few weeks.
Merchants claimed that individual farmers and purchasing groups were actively placing orders for 2023.
Avoiding the looming fertiliser register, which is set to come into effect in January 2023, while also ensuring adequate supplies next spring, were among other reasons given by farmers for the early purchases.
Eating into the 2022 tax bill was a further consideration for many, merchants maintained.
Prices for CAN range from €800/t to €835/t around the country and it is most in demand by farmers at the moment.
Urea is costing between €950/t and €960/t, while 18-6-12 is moving at around the €920/t mark.
It is estimated that fertiliser sales are back 25-30% this year, with usage levels in the west and northwest hardest hit.
Although some merchants are understood to have fertiliser stocks in yards, this overhang has not put significant downward pressure on prices, as importers have indicated that they still have to secure supplies for 2023 demand.
Limited fertiliser stocks have been brought into the country through the summer, and importers are reluctant to purchase supplies for 2023 because of the continuing volatility in gas and energy prices.
“We are in a very fragile geo-political situation, and nothing has happened to give the trade confidence,” one importer told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“If we are not buying fertiliser heavy by September, then there will be trouble,” he predicted.