The U.K. market for granular urea fertilizer, a source of crop-yield boosting nitrogen, has been “incredibly quiet” this week as buying was slow amid cold weather and snow, grain trader Gleadell Agriculture Ltd. said.
U.K. prices for ammonium nitrate, another nitrogen fertilizer, are “weak” as importers compete for farmers’ orders, Gainsborough, England-based Gleadell wrote in a weekly market report on its website. The European market for phosphate fertilizer has also been affected by the cold snap, and price support “will be dictated by the weather,” the trader said.
Farmers typically apply fertilizer in granular form, and frozen fields across Europe will need to thaw before rain or irrigation can dissolve the nutrients for plant use. More than half of soils in northern Germany are frozen to a depth of 50 centimeters (20 inches) or more, according to the country’s weather office.
“Buying has been damped by plummeting sub-zero temperatures and applications expected in Germany and the U.K. in mid-February could now be delayed by up to three weeks,” Gleadell wrote.