Increased demand for nitrogen supplies

Increased demand for nitrogen supplies


Agribusiness
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NITROGEN fertiliser supplies are tight as growers go hard to chase higher yields this season.

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NITROGEN fertiliser supplies are tight as growers go hard to chase higher yields this season.

With an expected harvest of between 15 and 16 million tonnes for WA and growers aiming for 5t/hectare wheat crops in some areas, urea fertiliser supply, in particular, is in strong demand.

Nitrogen fertiliser prices are also at historically low levels due to the significant drop in crude oil prices and increased production in China.

CSBP sales and marketing manager Ben Sudlow said there had been a huge increase in WA's nitrogen fertiliser demand.

"There has been an earlier and far greater demand for nitrogen top-up fertilisers this season, with about two thirds more nitrogen used in May and June 2016, compared with the average of the past five years," Mr Sudlow said.

He said CSBP was meeting its commitments and had "read demand early" in the season, giving the company the opportunity to increase its shipment.

Prices had remained stable even as demand peaked, only moving by $10-15/t.

"CSBP has supplied this increased demand and is currently discharging a urea ship into WA ports, which will ensure the company can supply all remaining customer contracts for urea, NS fertilisers and liquid nitrogen fertiliser Flexi-N, " Mr Sudlow said.

Mr Sudlow said another shipment of CSBP urea was scheduled to arrive in the second half of July, so new orders for urea, NS fertilisers or Flexi-N would be accepted as new stock becomes available.

"Alternative granular sources of nitrogen such as granular ammonium sulfate are available from CSBP to those customers who need to apply additional nitrogen fertiliser outside their CSBP contracted tonnes before the July shipment arrives," he said.

In the Eastern States, the rapidly-improving cropping season has led to a shortage of nitrogen fertilisers.

Farmers have been busy top-dressing crops with nitrogen to help boost yield prospects following the excellent start to the season in most east coast areas, but the sudden surge in demand has caught fertiliser suppliers on the hop.

Growers have been quicker than usual to make the decision to top dress based on sub $400/t retail prices, the lowest for more than a decade.

Along with the Victorian shortage, stocks are tight through New South Wales and in Adelaide. Stocks are expected to remain tight for the rest of the year in the Eastern States as the record-breaking start has seen the most nitrogen top dressed in eastern Australia ever for the first half of the year.

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