Citing increasing demand globally for fertilisers, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said upward pressure on prices is likely to continue.
Responding to farmer concerns on recent price increases he said no fertilisers are now manufactured in Ireland, resulting in indigenous fertiliser companies being price-takers, dependent on global supply and demand and subject to Euro exchange rates against the US dollar and other currencies.
The Minister said fertilisers (as with crude oil and gas) are mainly traded in US dollars and are thereby subject to fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
A weak euro means increased costs for fuel and fertiliser imports and this has impacted on recent price trends.
The Minister said currently, Europe is only 80% self-sufficient in fertiliser production and must import 20% of its requirements.
As such, he said European and Irish fertiliser prices are strongly linked to global prices and heavily influenced by supply and demand.
With global demand outstripping supply, he said Irish fertiliser prices have increased by 6-8% so far in 2015.
It is anticipated that world demand will continue to increase into the future maintaining upward pressure on prices to the final consumer in Ireland.
Minister Coveney said he understands that the issue of price of fertilisers is an important issue for farmers.
“The advice from Teagasc is for farmers to keep in contact with merchants as prices often spike at periods of high demand when European order books are full.
Purchasing fertilisers at off-peak periods will help minimise prices, he said.