Fertiliser prices down dramatically; sales increase

The Teagasc Situation and Outlook Report published on August 4 showed a dramatic drop in fertiliser prices in 2020.

Irish fertiliser sales also showed a slight increase from October 2019 to March 2020 and the price drop is expected to remain for the year.

The report outlined that while fertiliser prices are influenced by supply and demand, they also reflect production costs. As the price of oil decreased as a result of the Covid-19 crisis this also reduced the cost of fertiliser production.

In the graph (below) it is clear that the price of fertiliser decreased each month from January to May.

Data source: CSO

Fertiliser sales increase

Data from the Department of Agriculture shows that from October 2019 to March 2020 sales of nitrogen increased by 8% from the same period the year before (October 2018 to March 2019).

Phosphorus sales increased by 7%, while potassium sales increased by 5% at the same time.

Data source: DAFM

The Teagasc report put the increase in sales down to “the continuing expansion in milk production”. The report also assumed that the higher fertiliser usage levels will continue for the remainder of the fertiliser year.

Fertiliser use on tillage farms is expected to be down this season due to a decrease in the area planted to winter crops.