Fertiliser prices continue to move downwards this week. Despite the wet weather, farmers are buying compounds and nitrogen as April approaches.
However, there is resistance to higher prices, with a gap of €200/t still evident between keenest quotes and older product lingering at old prices.
The Irish Farmers Journal surveyed farmers for prices, and the range extended from €550/t to €765/t for CAN.
Urea (46%) could be bought for €590/t, but one farmer reported paying €860/t. In general, urea was being bought for between €640/t and €780/t.
At these prices, urea represents better value than CAN on a per-unit basis. Sulcan is generally €15/t dearer than CAN. Protected urea products are ranging from €700/t to €800/t for 38N +7S.
Compounds have not fallen in price as fast as straight nitrogen products. This may be due to a higher proportion of compounds being older stock, bought early this year. Pasture sward ranged in price from €700/t to €830/t among the farmers who responded to our survey. Among merchants and co-ops, prices for 18-6-12 range from €735/t to €800/t in the southeast and €750/t to €800/t in the northeast.
In the southwest, 18-6-12 can be delivered for €735/t, and bought locally for between €760/t and €800/t.
The prospect is for further reductions in straight nitrogen products as cheaper new stock replaces what is being sold now.
Compounds are harder to predict; a lot will depend on just how quickly existing stocks move.
Merchants say they are well back on typical sales volumes for the time of year, which is undoubtedly due to a combination of prices and weather.
IFA president Tim Cullinan has called on merchants and co-ops to pass back reduced fertiliser prices to farmers, noting the €200/t price differential that exists for urea.