Manufacturers and suppliers have attempted to push through further fertiliser price increases in recent days. However, competition for good business particularly for large orders from individuals and buyer groups has limited the price lift in the near term.
Many co-ops and merchants moved early to secure stocks at lower prices enabling them to cut good deals with farmers over recent days.
September / October quotes for new season CAN (bagged, delivered farm) saw prices range from €175/t to €180/t, with best quotes up until the close of business last week at €205/t (up €5/t on earlier week quotes).
Urea prices have been slower to move with early season quotes at €270/t (bagged, delivered). Keenest quotes up until the close of business last week were from €278/t to €290/t (bagged, delivered). Prices for NPK compounds such as 18-6-12 and 27-2.5-5 commenced the season at €275/t to €280/t moving to €305/t to €310/t this week, with Cut Sward / 24-2.5-10 trading €10/t over.
A number of leading European nitrogen fertiliser manufacturers are attempting to push through further price increases after a series of hikes since the beginning of the new fertiliser year last July. Lack of competition in Europe’s highly protected fertiliser market enables leading manufacturers to manipulate prices particularly for CAN and ammonium nitrate (AN) regardless of the price movement of the main raw materials.
EU wholesale gas prices which account for 70% to 80% of the cost of production of AN and CAN have fallen by 61% since 2013, rising marginally over the last 3 months. Despite this, leading European N manufacturers have pushed through a series of increases for CAN and AN, the main N fertiliser products used by EU farmers.
|($/mmbtu)||Natural gas, Europe|
|2016 (up to Sept)||4.44|
Despite rapidly falling international prices for AN over the last year (a benchmark for CAN prices) EU manufacturers successfully limited the price fall in the internal EU market and have led the way on increasing prices in recent months.
The protection afforded to EU N manufacturers through the imposition of anti-dumping duties and customs tariffs by the European Commission will see EU farmers pay a premium of €50/t to €60/t for AN and CAN. In addition, tightly managed supply control by major players in the industry allows to control prices not seen in other markets. Often times excess product is off loaded onto the international market at a significant discount (up to 50%) so as not to distort prices on the internal EU market.