1 Sep 2008

Fertiliser prices rise again

9:53 pm on 1 September 2008

New Zealand farmers have been hit with another rise in costs, with fertiliser prices up for the second time this year.

Farmers co-operative Ravensdown has lifted Urea prices by more than 35% and Super Phosphate by 16%.

Urea is now $1111 a tonne, compared with $700 six months ago, while Super is now $560 a tonne, up from $480. The new price is $300 a tonne more than it was in March.

Farmers and contractors, who got wind of the price increase, queued outside the company's Seadown store in Timaru at the end of last week to load up at the old prices.

Ravensdown says the rises are due to a leap in worldwide demand for fertiliser and dramatic increases in shipping costs.

Chairman Bill McLeod says New Zealand is yet to see the full impact of what he calls a phenomenal increase in demand for raw materials. He says the price rise was forced on it because of stockpiling by its competitor Ballance Agrinutrients.

Ballance Agri-nutrients is expected to match the increases next week.

Meat and Wool New Zealand says overall sheep and beef farm costs have risen by more than 10% this year.

Federated Farmers says some of its members may be forced to stop using fertiliser because of its soaring cost.