Is there good news in the fertiliser market?
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) produces a report every two months called Fertiliser Market Outlook. Its purpose is to provide intelligence on changes and developments in the supply market that may impact on fertiliser costs in the medium-term future. This relatively new publication, which was first published at the end of last year, was developed in response to demand from levy payers across all sectors. If you haven’t already seen it visit http://www.ahdb.org.uk/publications/FertiliserMarketOutlook.aspx or, to subscribe, email MI@ahdb.org.uk.
The April edition discussed the oversupply of all nutrients in global markets and the consequent downward pressure on prices. It seems encouraging for once to have oversupply working to our advantage. More good news came out recently in the form of increased cereal exports. What might be bad news for those taking their holidays in Europe has also worked to our advantage – the weakening of sterling against the euro. In February, exports of wheat and barley reached their highest level since November 2011, at 512.5Kt.
So far this season, around 90% of the wheat exported, and 75% of the barley, has gone to other EU countries. The biggest importer in the EU currently is Spain, largely because of poor yields in the 2015 harvest. Whilst the UK was experiencing one of its best seasons ever for cereals, with a cool, bright and long grain filling period, our Spanish counterparts had to contend with extremely hot weather which I imagine must have led to severe water stress in their crops.
Clearly the EU market place is hugely important to UK cereal growers at the moment.
To discuss more of this with us and with local farmers, join us at a Monitor Farm meeting this summer.
Warrington – 1 June 2016