Lower fertiliser prices to continue

Last updated 11:32 23/07/2013

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The country's two main fertiliser companies, Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Ravensdown, have cut prices for the second time in two months.

Ballance chief executive Larry Bilodeau said with global markets for fertiliser stabilising, Ballance was able to pass on purchasing benefits to customers, before the co-operative's next quarterly review on September 1.

"We always keep prices under review to ensure they reflect the international market," he said.

Bilodeau said the lower prices would help farmers plan ahead with confidence. Among the reductions was a $75 drop in urea prices to $640 a tonne, coming on top of a $30 reduction last month.

Diammonium phosphate (DAP) dropped $70 a tonne to $850 and superphosphate fell $13 a tonne to $335.
Ballance's new prices would apply from today.

Bilodeau said the co-operative expected to announce an excellent annual result for shareholders next week. Being able to lower nutrient prices in time for start of spring season was an added bonus.

"Although volatility is here to stay, all the signs point to international fertiliser prices holding at lower levels in the medium term. There is new production capacity coming on stream, ruling out likely supply shortfalls."

This latest fall comes after Ravensdown announced lower prices late last week.

The price of urea fell $55 per tonne to $660, on top of a $30 per tonne reduction in June. DAP also dropped $55 per tonne to $865 a tonne.

Ravensdown chief executive Greg Campbell said urea was now $139 a tonne cheaper than it was in December.

A stronger currency position, a global increase in fertiliser production capacity and softening demand for nutrients meant they could reduce fertiliser costs, Campbell said.

There was also less demand for fertiliser in some markets, he said.

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- Waikato Times

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