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Soaring natural gas prices have helped push the cost of AdBlue up to record highs, with producers unable to predict when the value will stabilise.

The cost of the additive began to increase last year, in parallel with wholesale gas price rises, as countries emerged from their Covid lockdowns.

Demand soon led to production sites in Europe closing down, limiting the supply chain and compounding the cost of urea.

In September, AdBlue producer Yara announced it was increasing the price of its product by 5p/l by adding on a “temporary surcharge” to cover its costs.

However, the price has continued to rise and, according to Chris Haynes, MD at AdBlue producer GreenChem Solutions, February could see further increases.

Haynes said: “By October [2021] we thought we had seen a peak in gas, but due to the geopolitics; Russia, Ukraine and Germany with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and other market influences, the gas price reached €200Mwh.

“The current trend is five times higher than this time last year.

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“This is reflected in the urea prices in the market; it is averaging five times higher than it was in January 2021.”

Haynes said the current effect was the likely doubling of AdBlue prices and he added: “Furthermore, there is a restriction in the supply chain.

“Russia is limiting the tonnage to suppliers and many urea factories in Europe are still not open and manufacturing urea.”

Last year, Herts-based Forward Truck Services (FTS) invested in new Mercedes-Benz Actros 2546 variants after finding a demonstrator truck supplied to the firm consumed half as much AdBlue.

FTS MD Pete Samuel said: “In January 2021 we were paying 26p/l.

“As of November 2021, it is at 32p/l, so there’s been a 20%-ish increase.

“But I now use less of it, so I haven’t really seen an effect on operating costs for the FTS group.”