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Spray prices set to rise, warns AtlasFram

February 16, 2010 by  
Filed under News & Business

Timing the purchase of crop protection products to obtain best value is more important than ever this season, with prices set to rise due to Sterling’s weakness on currency markets.

Farmers should budget for increases in crop protection costs during 2010, according to the Suffolk-based AtlasFram Group, one of the country’s largest farmer-owned buying groups.

With few active ingredients produced in the UK, finished product prices are at the mercy of global currency rates, it warned.

The Pound had not strengthened in value against the Euro to the level which some might have hoped for, said John Humphreys, arable products manager.

Prices of product manufactured in Europe were coming under pressure and could be expected to increase by at least the rate of inflation, he added.

“Compounding the effects of exchange rates fluctuations are a range of other global factors.

“The main one is China’s economy, which is expanding at record levels of 7% to 10% annually, creating greater demand from within the country and pushing up the prices of some active ingredients.”

Cereal fungicides faced upward pressure, although competition and full availability compared with 2009 should help minimise any price rises.

But some mildewicides were not in plentiful supply, which meant that specific products might increase in price by more than others.

“The bottom line is that increased rape and wheat plantings this season will mean that demand for crop protection products will generally be higher than in 2009.

“It is therefore essential that farmers and their agronomists plan likely requirements and commit to at least a proportion of products as early as possible.”

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