Fertiliser prices continue to fall, with the best quotes for CAN dropping below the £400/t barrier, bringing prices to their lowest level for 21 months.

The main run of quotes for CAN range from £395/t to £410/t, down £40 to £55/t from prices issued during the last week of April.

However, there are deals being agreed between £385/t and £390/t where bigger quantities are being purchased and full payment is made on delivery.

September 2021 was the last time CAN could be purchased in NI below £400/t, although back then, prices were trending upwards, reaching £500/t by the end of that month.

At £395/t, CAN is down £350/t to £400/t from prices recorded back in May 2022 and around £275/t less than what many farmers paid last autumn.

The general consensus from merchants is that further prices cuts are expected over the next two months.

Protected urea

Protected urea has also seen prices trending downwards. Quotes are starting at approximately £500/t, while straight 46% urea is priced around £465/t, although stocks are limited.

Compound fertilisers such as 25-5-5 and 27-4-4 plus sulphur are trading between £500/t and £525/t, down £20-25/t from the end of April. Other products such as 24-0-6.5 can be purchased at around £450/t.

Red diesel

Key farm inputs such as red diesel have also seen significant price cuts in recent weeks. Quotes for a delivery of 2,250 litres of red diesel now range from 63p/l to 67p/l, excluding VAT.

Diesel prices have now fallen by 10-12p/l since the beginning of May, are down 25p/l when compared to prices in January 2023, and are well below the 110p/l recorded during May 2022. Derv is trading at around 110p/l, down 8p to 10p/l from late April and 30p/l below January prices.

Feed prices

While most feed mills lowered ration prices by £25-40/t at the start of the month, some merchants only applied a £10-15/t reduction.

However, reports indicate that those mills which made smaller price corrections for 1 May have now followed on with another £10-15/t price cut this week.

This puts most beef finishing and store cattle rations between £320/t and £330/t, with dairy blends back under £400/t.

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