Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Fertiliser stocks 'at an all-time low' as prices up

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Fertiliser prices have jumped by more than 30pc in two months.

Last week, CAN sold at €300/t compared to €230/t at the start of the harvest.

Despite the surge in prices, product has been extremely scarce across the country, with merchants reluctant to hold stock.

This is seen as a reaction to the huge price fluctuations experienced by the industry in 2008.

Only stock that was bought to order was traded over the past week.

Glanbia's John Carroll said that stocks were at an all-time low around the country.

"The markets have risen on the back of scarcity," he said.

He added there is much more resistance across Europe to the price rises than two years ago when costs trebled.

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"But it's hard to predict what the markets are going to do" he said.

"Anything could happen, but I think it's fair to say that fertiliser won't be as cheap as last January."

Phosphate and potash prices have risen in tandem with nitrogen. 0:10:20 and 0:7:30 were trading at €400/t last week, while 10:10:20 was priced at €440.

The IFA's Fintan Conway maintained that the market was simply spiking at the moment and that prices would ease again. "There's less optimism this year compared to 2007 and a total turnaround in the availability of credit," he said.

This will dampen demand and Mr Conway advised farmers to sit on the fence for the time being.

"Current prices are too high so farmers should stand back and take a wait-and-see approach," he said.

Irish Independent