ICMSA: Suspicions grow around fertiliser prices

The President of ICMSA Pat McCormack has claimed the association has been made aware of numerous cases where fertiliser suppliers have refused to quote farmers a current price for a specific volume.

  Mr. McCormack said the practice was leading to speculation amongst farmers that – as the international price of fertilisers trended notably lower – the co-ops and other stockists were intent on selling their existing stocks at the previously higher prices.

“ICMSA had received several contacts from members recently where farmers intending to purchase and spread fertiliser in the coming weeks were refused specific quotes on the prices they would have to pay,” he said.

“Farmers were absolutely entitled to know what they would be paying for a specific amount of fertiliser purchased on a specific date” he said, adding that the refusal of the sellers to confirm a price amounted to what he said was “an unacceptable hedge position being taken at the expense of the farmer”.

Mr. McCormack said fertiliser stocks would be purchased over the next few weeks and accused sellers of attempting to delay taking new orders until they have old stocks sold at previously higher prices.

“This is an unacceptable hedge position being taken at the expense of the farmer who must know that his fertiliser order has been taken, will be delivered and that he will be paying an exact amount,” he said.

“The co-ops and all other fertiliser sellers are much better positioned to play a ‘wait and see’ game with international commodities like fertiliser than are individual farmers”.