Wheat Field

Fertiliser Focus – 27th January 2020

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Ammonium Nitrate

UK manufacturers withdrew January terms last Friday with still one week of the month to go. In terms published earlier in the previous week, February now represents a £ 2 per tonne increase. February is likely to be a crucial month, any orders placed this week will now go into February so starting to build a book for deliveries before the month even begins. Demand has been picking up since the turn of the year, conditions could improve very quickly once the weather changes and getting product on farm could again be a challenge. The spike in demand that comes once the soil temperature improves and the suns shines can mean three to four week waiting times if previous springs are anything to go by.

Residual Nitrogen

It would be easy to assume after the weather we’ve experienced since early October that there wouldn’t be much residual nitrogen available this spring. However, those of us that have been on enough courses over the years will know it’s dangerous to ass u me! NRM have published a useful document highlighting the issue of failed autumn crops that would normally take up that residual N slowly over the autumn and winter. Measuring soil mineral nitrogen could be very useful especially if those failed crops are to go into a spring cereals. For more details on this and other services offered by NRM Laboratories go to: –                                                   .                        https://www.cawoodscientific.uk.com/nrm/

Sirius Minerals

Over the last year or so, we have reported regularly on the progress both under and over ground of Sirius Minerals. As a reminder this is the Polyhalite mine still in development in North Yorkshire. The project covers an area of 750km2 both onshore and offshore, when completed (first production projected for 2021) the aim is to deliver up to 20 million tonnes per year of the Potash, Magnesium, Calcium and Sulphur fertiliser POLY4. The project which is a huge undertaking has been beset with funding problems, as recently as October when a bond was cancelled which was expected to raise capital for the next phase. The latest development will maybe come as no surprise as the global US Mining business Anglo American has made an offer to acquire Sirius Minerals in a deal worth over $500M. The deal could be controversial as it values the company at 5.5 p per share, compared to the peak of 45 p per share in August 2016. For some investors that stuck with the business this will come as a blow. Discussions are on-going as to whether investors will have the choice to keep their shares in the form of a transfer into Anglo American stock. The American business is quoted as being ‘impressed by the work done by Sirius’. The deal needs shareholder approval; however, this is the only one on the table, the Sirius board of directors have urged shareholders to vote for it. The other option being potential administration it would seem unlikely investors would want the project to fail.

Economic Data as at close on Friday 24th January v (17th January 2020) £ = $1.3074 ($ 1.3010) £ = € 1.1587 (€ 1.1732)   Crude Oil = $ 60.69 ($ 64.85) Natural Gas = $1.89 ($2.00) Please treat pricing on graphs as a guide, please use quote request form for an up to date price.