Ammonium nitrate (AN) prices have reached all-time highs on extremely limited supply. With CF Fertilizers’ Ince plant shutting down due to high gas prices and its manufacturing site in Billingham just to fill existing orders, no new UK-made products are offered.
Supply trade is unclear when new tonnage will be available.
There is a very limited amount of imported AN, priced between £ 600 / t and £ 690 / t at the farm gate as Farmers Weekly went to press on Wednesday 13 October.
Prior to the recent price spike, AN’s imports were below normal season volumes and were less freely available than in many other seasons.
Traders are struggling to get quotes for urea, a market that has also tightened as China has shut down some capacities in an attempt to tackle climate change.
Gas prices are slightly back from their recent peak, having more than quadrupled from last year’s figures.
However, they remain at a level that keeps some European and other manufacturing sites closed for the time being, in a season of high global demand and limited capacity.
The reduced availability of AN and urea could lead to nitrogen shortages in UK and European markets this season, a national trader said.
China suspended fertilizer exports earlier this year as prices hit record highs, while India buys larger tonnages than expected and has traditionally bought large volumes from China.
Following the UK’s exit from the EU, it concluded no trade deal with Algeria, from which the UK had previously imported urea. As a result, the UK relies heavily on Egypt for North African imports.