It is quiet on the fertilizer market. As usual during this period, there is little demand from arable farmers and livestock farmers. Arable farmers in particular are still busy with the harvest and have not yet considered purchasing fertilizer. The price of calcium ammonium nitrate (KAS) has recently been stable at around 35 euros per 100 kilos.
Last spring, the demand for fertilizer started late due to the wetness. In addition, farmers were cautious in the hope that fertilizer prices would fall further. Arable farmers and livestock farmers subsequently purchased fertilizer, but all in all less nitrogen fertilizer was purchased than last year.
This is what fertilizer purchasing manager Luuk Hagting from Agrifirm reports. ‘There is little demand at the moment and hardly any fertilizer is purchased. I don’t know whether farmers expect prices to fall. In any case, major price increases do not seem likely now.’
Today, a farmer who wants to buy fertilizer from Agrifirm pays 35 euros per 100 kilos for the nitrogen fertilizer KAS. The agricultural cooperative charges an amount of 36.50 euros per 100 kilos for KAS Sulfur. Kali 60 currently costs 47 euros per 100 kilos at Agrifirm and for triple superphosphate customers have to pay 49.80 euros per 100 kilos.
The price for nitrogen fertilizer has been at a stable level since this spring. On the other hand, prices for potassium 60 and triple superphosphate have fallen by an average of more than 30 euros per 100 kilos. At Triferto Meststoffen, fertilizer prices are at a comparable level.
Due to the phasing out of the derogation, pressure on the manure market will increase in the coming years. The demand for fertilizer is expected to increase. This year, Agrifirm has not noticed much in the fertilizer demand due to the phasing out of the derogation, Hagting notes. ‘Much less nitrogen fertilizer was sold throughout the Netherlands than last year.’
Director Jan Roefs of the Dutch Center for Manure Vervaluation Foundation also told Nieuwe Oogst this week that the major effect of the phasing out of the derogation is yet to come. This year, 10 kilos of nitrogen placement space per hectare has been lost due to the derogation.
Security of supply
Hagting also reports that the security of supply of fertilizer is good. This is partly due to the lagging demand. ‘Everything is easily available.’
According to the Agrifirm fertilizer purchasing manager, fertilizer production at European factories is still at a lower level. ‘That’s because natural gas in Europe is the most expensive in the entire world. It is therefore difficult for European fertilizer producers to produce competitively for the global market. In this global market they have to compete against the much cheaper Russian fertilizer, some of which is no longer exported to Europe.’