Balancing act on fertiliser prices

Published: Sun 5 Dec 2010 05:39 PM
5 December 2010
Balancing act on fertiliser prices
Ballance is applying new prices from 6 December 2010 with the main changes a $100 per tonne reduction in potash and a $74 per tonne increase in diammonium phosphate (DAP).
Ballance Chief Executive, Larry Bilodeau, said today the new price schedule should have a minimal impact on farmers’ pockets.
‘Most farmers were anticipating substantial price increases in plant nutrients following other commodity trends, and we are pleased the increase in most cases is minimal, with some imported products even dropping in price.
‘The majority of the cereal and maize cropping market has finished with DAP applications for the season and the dairy, sheep and beef sector can offset DAP price increases by switching to superphosphate blends.
‘Our aim has been to assist farmers wherever we can by holding prices through the important spring growing season. We’ve managed to do this and now need to revise prices to take into account pricing pressures on all of the main international fertiliser commodities, with the exception of potash.
‘We have worked extremely hard to keep any price increases to a minimum, and this, coupled with our summer promotions in the marketplace, should enable farmers to get a head start on their autumn applications’
The key changes affecting core products are DAP up $74 per tonne to $995, urea up $5 to $624 and potash down $100 to $870. Prices remain stable for superten at $320 per tone and sulphur gain 30S at $345 and have come down $20 for serpentine super at $275 per tonne.
Mr Bilodeau said Ballance was advising farmers to make the most of any opportunity to apply plant nutrients now, given tightening global supplies and the potential for further increases when the co-operative does its next quarterly price review in March.
‘International DAP prices have increased by a third since May with further increases likely as demand outstrips supply. International demand for urea is also high from corn and wheat producers and that has driven final quarter pricing up to US$400 per tonne, 66 percent of the forecast price of US$240.
‘The stronger New Zealand dollar has helped us hold prices in some cases and minimised increases in other products, but all the trends are pointing to firm global demand for plant nutrients and its inevitable influence on pricing.’
Full price details can be viewed on the Ballance website

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