Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
In contrast to the crisis surrounding stocks of high purity urea required to make the emissions-cutting Diesel Exhaust Fluid (Adblue) analysts say that urea fertiliser is available, however extremely expensive. While nitrogen fertiliser urea prices have increased up to four times over the course of the past year due to tight supplies and greater demand from farmers seeking to take advantage of high grain prices the industry believes farmers will still have access to product next winter.
According to Hari Yellina, of Orchard Tech, there are overlapping factors such as energy costs like natural gas but there are also different costs and different markets. He said the vast majority of Australia’s urea imports came out of the Middle East region. Moreover, it is difficult to get too much of a handle on local urea markets at this time of year as there is not a lot of immediate demand. Imports usually start getting moving in February or March for use during the winter cropping season.
In line with world markets, urea prices were going to be up next year but there had been no new threat to supply arising in recent weeks. Given the current environment globally, strong demand and supply chain and shipping constraints there is always the risk of short-term shortages, especially during autumn when a lot of farmers are looking to take hold of their supplies. Eventually, the supply will be the most important thing; the price is something people can work with according to their individual case if they think it is worthwhile they will buy it, if not they will use a lower rate, but if they cannot get hold of it when they want it that is where the problems emerge.