IFA Update on Fertiliser Market


IFA President Tim Cullinan said it’s unacceptable for co-ops and merchants to keep fertiliser prices at inflated levels. Windfall profits of up to €250/t were made on fertiliser last year. Farmers cannot afford for this to happen again this year. The tillage sector is a priority as farmers are buying and spreading their 2023 fertiliser at the moment.

“There was huge frustration at our National Council meeting yesterday. Farmers need fertiliser and they feel they are being held over a barrel by the fertiliser industry. If we don’t see immediate and substantial price reductions, we have a clear mandate to take whatever action is required.”

Rose Mary McDonagh Farm Business Chair said IFA analysis shows that a huge gap has opened in price of the same fertiliser between the North and here. There is no justification for this price differential as all the fertiliser used on the island is coming from the same sources.

  • Price of fertiliser has dropped by over 40% to farmers in markets such as the UK and Germany by the end of January, but there has been very little movement in price in Ireland.
  • Recent report shows that profit per ton of fertiliser for suppliers rose from c.€50 a ton in 2021 to up to €250 in 2022.
  • Price of EU Gas has fallen from a high of c.€340 per Mega Watt hour (MWh) in late August 2022 to under €50 MWh at end of February 2023.
  • Production returning to normal levels after curtailments in 2022, so price in International Markets looks set to remain at significantly reduced levels to inflated 2022 prices.
  • Merchants and Co-op must pass on these price decreases to farmers immediately and not attempt to have another windfall profit year in 2023 similar to what they had in 2022.
  • Up to €200 a ton difference in some products between Republic and North at end of last week.
  • Large differential opening between the North of Ireland and the Republic, with a difference of 50% between the dearest quote for Urea in the Republic versus what is being quoted for the same product in Northern Ireland.
  • Reports of further softening of prices north of the border this week.
  • Large variance by region, further North the lower the price.
  • Large variance in quotes for fertiliser in the Republic, the above is the average of quotes received, difference of up to 30% between highest and lowest quote for some products.
  • In general, independent merchants are more keenly priced in comparison to large Co-ops.
  • But some smaller merchants unable to quote as waiting for price from their suppliers.

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