For the first time since the fertiliser crisis began back in early 2022, Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) has dropped to €490/t.
Other fertilisers have followed suit, and prices are at their lowest since the war in Ukraine began. Agri-merchants in Laois have given a price of €590/t for urea and 18-6-12 has come in at €640/t.
According to Agriland sources, these prices are to ‘be taken with a pinch of salt’ as they are predicted to fall again in coming days.
Industry sources say most of the older, more expensive stock that had been imported into Ireland towards the end of 2022 has now been sold, which has allowed for the recent merchant price drop.
Others believe that it is ‘too little too late’, as the majority of farmers have already bought their fertiliser for the coming year at a higher price.
At the end of last month, Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill, said: “The price of fertiliser, and in particular the difference in prices across the country, is a real concern for farmers.
“According to the CSO [Central Statistics Office], Irish farmers paid more than 140% more for fertiliser last year compared to 2021.
“Much of the price rises across Europe in recent years have been driven by the rise in gas prices and the war in Ukraine,” the Tipperary deouty said.
Farmers were seeing a €100/t differential in fertiliser prices in the same county at the end of April between a smaller-scale merchant and a co-op, a farm organisation has warned.
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) had also warned that one key factor which continued to dominate price differentials in relation to fertiliser is location.
“The much cheaper fertiliser in Northern Ireland has been a key factor in driving significant price differences between border counties and southern counties.
In the UK last year, prices of some fertilisers hit more than £1,000/t, but have since lowered to about £450/t.
Today (May 10), prices in the Isle of Man dropped to the lowest since the war in Ukraine began, with ammonium nitrate being quoted at £398/t.