There was an expectation among farmers that co-ops and merchants would drop their prices this week.

While there has been some movement, the market looks rather similar to last week. The bank holiday weekend, coupled with wet weather and a poor forecast for the week ahead, have meant that the stand-off over old fertiliser stock continues, with no pressure on farmers to buy.

The gap between high-priced old fertiliser stocks and newer stock imports from Northern Ireland remains high.

Nitrogen prices still vary from €560/t for imported product from Northern Ireland (delivered, excluding VAT) to over €700/t among merchants.

Urea can be sourced in Northern Ireland for €600/t (delivered but excluding VAT). The best price among merchants and co-ops across the Republic of Ireland is €730/t, while some old stock remains as high as €870/t. That last price is close to the January price of €950/t, and seems very uncompetitive.

‘Community rating’, where old stock and replacement stock is priced together in a blended price to clear old stocks, is being practiced by some sellers.