FARMERS will now be able to choose between long-term suppliers CSBP and Nutrien Ag Solutions and 'new kid on the block' CBH when it comes to the liquid UAN (urea and ammonium nitrate) market.
CBH recently announced it would be supplying liquid UAN, and it is rumoured it could be drastically undercutting CSBP in the process.
In March, when the new CBH Kwinana fertiliser facility officially opens, it will bolster not only CBH's existing granular offering, but also provide a new liquid offering which will include liquid UAN.
CBH Group head of fertiliser David Pritchard said they entered the Western Australian bulk granular fertiliser market in 2015 with the "aim of encouraging a more competitive domestic fertiliser market to reduce growers' onfarm costs".
"Increasing the scale of our fertiliser supply chain supports CBH Group's 'Path to 2033' strategy of holding a 15 per cent fertiliser market share in WA by 2033 and providing a wider regional footprint and greater product range, for the benefit of WA graingrowers," Mr Pritchard said.
CSBP general manager Mark Scatena welcomed the entry of CBH into the market, saying competition was great and it ensured the best outcome for farmers.
"It's a nice demonstration that the agriculture sector, and the grain sector, and their product suppliers are very positive and buoyant," Mr Scatena said.
CSBP developed the liquid UAN product 20 years ago "through innovation," which was a result of endless trials and research.
"We've invested in product development over many, many years, so that's something we'll continue," Mr Scatena said.
Mr Scatena said the price point of liquid UAN was just one part of the equation, and much more went into farmers' fertiliser decisions.
Fertiliser prices will also fluctuate depending on what time during the season it is purchased.
"We're incredibly focused on supporting our customers to grow more efficiently and productively and CBH will bring in certain variations of product at various times, but we think our proposition to the farmer is more enduring than that," Mr Scatena said.
Since its entry into the market, CBH has recorded year-on-year growth, including outturning a record 204,000 tonnes of fertiliser last year, its best result since entering the market.
It has also pushed out grower payment terms to 30 days from the end of the month, and has pre-pay advantage finance options which allows growers to borrow money from CBH for seasonal cash flow against future production of their farm.
Mr Pritchard said the new Kwinana facility would help CBH to provide a consistent supply, and reduce its fertiliser storage, handling and freight costs, which can be passed on to growers through lower prices.
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