Fertiliser prices are showing little sign of easing with a number of merchants indicating that another £10/t price increase looks set to be applied in July.
CAN is currently trading around £260/t for bulk bags, rising to £270 for smaller quantities sold. Sulphur added products will cost £10/t more.
A £10/t increase will push CAN above the £270/t barrier for most farmers, unless discounts are applied for purchasing half or full lorry loads and making early payment in full.
Higher grain prices are fuelling a surge in global demand for fertiliser and this is impacting on the availability of certain products.
As the primary user of nitrogen, forecasts point to little downward price movement until grain markets ease.
The only positive for farmers looking to buy fertiliser is that merchants are well stocked at present. This will help delay any price increase for a short period until merchants clear existing stocks.
For compound fertilisers commonly used on grassland, products such as 25-5-5 and 27-4-4 are priced around the £315 to £320/t mark..
Discounts are available for larger quantities purchased and when payment can be made in full on delivery or within 30 days.
Other products such as 20-10-10 range from £320 to £326/t with price quotes on zero phosphate (P) products such as 24-0-13 around £310 to £315/t.
Last summer, straight nitrogen fertiliser products such as CAN were trading around £180/t with some deals as low as £170/t for full lorry loads.
Compound products were on the market around the £255 to £265/t mark, again with discounts on large volumes purchased.
In most years, fertiliser prices fall during summer as the various manufacturers complete their financial year in July, and lower prices usually give a late surge in sales to clear stocks.
However, given current trends, merchants suggest that lower prices are currently unlikely to materialise this year.