Latest FOB International Fertilizer Prices – updated at February 2018

Fertilizer Price Trends


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INTERNATIONAL MONTHLY AVERAGE PRICES FOR SELECTED FERTILIZERS

 

NUTRIENT FERTILIZER FEB-17 MAR-17 APR-17 MAY-17 JUN-17 JUL-17 AUG-17 SEP-17 OCT-17 NOV-17 DEC-17 JAN-18 1 MONTH 1 YEAR
N Urea (granular Arab Gulf) 252 212 192 177 178 175 201 237 256 239 231 243

5%

-4%

N Urea (granular Indonesia/Malaysia) 271 237 215 208 209 193 209 249 282 274 246 259

5%

-5%

N Ammonium Sulphate (China) 116 112 107 102 102 104 105 108 112 116 113 115

2%

-2%

N Ammonia (Yuzhny) 305 317 316 305 251 199 193 202 243 296 322 330

3%

8%

P DAP (Russia Baltic/Black Sea) 347 378 358 341 336 334 329 328 338 357 363 374

3%

8%

P MAP (Morocco) 338 387 387 381 365 352 340 342 356 373 383 386

1%

14%

P TSP (Tunisia) 280 283 283 283 283 283 283 301 283 293 295 295

0%

5%

K MOP (Israel) 224 228 232 238 242 244 250 251 251 252 253 260

2%

16%

K SOP (in € North-West Europe) 435 435 435 435 435 435 435 434 428 420 420 420

0%

-3%

NPK NPK 16-16-16 (Baltic/Black Sea) 255 271 268 262 251 260 260 266 270 272 273 273

0%

7%



10 YEARS – 3 FERTILIZERS UREA/DAP/MOP

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Argus Media Ltd is the source of the data, on which IFDC bases the above calculations

Fertilizer Market Comments

FERTILIZER PRICE TREND FOR JANUARY 2018


NITROGEN

The slight weakness in the market seen in mid-January was banished in heavy selling of urea from both Egypt and Algeria at the end of the month. More than 300,000t of granular urea were sold, reversing an initial dip to $245/t fob thus, the oversupply turned to a balanced market in less than three days and eventually led to a sale for March shipment at $265/t fob Egypt. Traders found a level at which urea could be sold in Turkey and Europe and jumped on the available tonnage. Sales of Nigerian, Baltic and AG granular urea quickly followed. AG urea found support at $250/t fob and spot sales followed for February.
With a significant portion of the industry gathered at Argus’ Fertilizer Latin America conference in Brazil 22-24 January, these developments did not go unnoticed. The message that Chinese exports would be negligible during the first quarter hit home, which prompted some Latin buyers to enter the market earlier than planned to secure cargoes.
Asian markets have been lagging other areas, buyers there were trying to ride out the halt to Chinese exports. But more and more cargoes are being pulled into the region. An Egyptian cargo is moving to Bangladesh, Black Sea urea has been sold for Southeast Asia and AG urea was the most competitive in a Mexican inquiry.
There is a risk of a further rise in urea prices in the East if the tight market in China prompts further imports in February-March. The size of the Chinese market is such that a scramble to find cargoes to sell there would tighten the market rapidly and force up prices in other areas. This remains potential risk rather than actual for the moment.

 
 
Algeria
Sorfert sold a total of 75,000t to three traders for February in lots of 33,000t, 30,000t and 12,000t. Prices were understood to be $256-258/t fob. Subsequently, it sold another 6,000t in the low-$260s/t fob.
AOA has sold 4-5 cargoes for February shipment at prices in the mid/high-$250s/t fob.

Egypt
Granular urea prices dipped in the second half of January and as producers sold their remaining tonnage for February.
Mopco sold out its February availability quickly, agreeing 55,000t of granular urea at $245-247/t fob with Keytrade and Ameropa, followed by 25,000t at $250/t fob and finally 4,000t at $255/t fob.
On 24 January, Mopco sold 10,000t for March shipment at $265/t fob.
Alexfert also sold out for February, selling around 25,000t at prices ranging $243-250/t fob.
Helwan sold a total of 27,000t of granular at $255/t fob.
Abu Qir held tenders on 24 January to sell 25,000t of granular and 25,000t of prilled urea for February. It sold 50,000t of granular at $256/t fob and 25,000t of prills at $236/t fob.
OCI sold 20,000t for Bangladesh and 30,000t directly to Turkey in the third week of January and was comfortable for the month with sales to markets in southern Europe.
The main buyers from Mopco and Alexfert were Keytrade and Ameropa, who purchased for shipment to Turkey. Other traders bid subsequently but found no urea available.

Ethiopia
EABC asked suppliers who offered in its 27 December tender for 550,000t of urea to extend offer validity by two weeks. Subsequently, it bought 150,000t from Swiss Singapore at $320.42/t cfrlo including local bagging. No other traders were able to match this price and it appears that 150,000t will be the total quantity purchased by Ethiopia for the 2018 cropping season.

Nigeria
Indorama sold 30,000t of granular urea to a trader at $244/t fob for February loading. A second sale at $248/t fob was rumoured. Nitron was loading a 42,000t vessel at Onne for shipment to South America.

 


PHOSPHATE

Mosaic’s optimisation of its operations through the indefinite idling of the 1.5mn t/yr DAP/MAP facility at Plant City in tandem with slower than anticipated start-ups in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, as well as a likely plateauing of Chinese phosphate exports this year owing to the effects of stricter environmental controls, lower rock supply and higher production costs, meant that global supply was not as strong as analysts had forecast. On the demand side, global stocks were below average. It was MAP availability out of China in 2Q that is now pivotal to market direction. The Chinese buffer stock programme could well see more NPKs produced which would have a direct pull on MAP as a feedstock. If that happens, then the argument that less expensive MAP from China would put a break on MAP prices in Brazil no longer holds. There were clearly some traders who believed the market would rise. The Indian DAP supply chain was short of product — with stocks at under 400,000t, compared with more than 1mn t at the end of December 2016. This was the result of increased demand while DAP imports were unworkable for much of 4Q17 under the MRP applicable at the time, running down supplies in the process. Prices have edged up to $408/t cfr with credit over the review period from the low-$390s/t cfr, reflecting tight supply globally and the unilateral decision by Mosaic — followed by Iffco and IPL — to raise MRPs to around 24,000 rupees/t, which allowed imports of DAP at around $400/t cfr. India was likely to import earlier and more heavily in 1Q18.
West of Suez, stocks were distinctly average in Brazil, but the recent Argus FMB Latin America conference in Sao Paolo highlighted the fact that there was zero incentive to import MAP, with no evidence yet of demand from farmers. The US looked short of product despite the substantial line-up in 1Q18 at nearly 500,000t DAP/MAP given the Plant City closure. The closure is being disproportionately felt in some regions because of the fact that only Plant City could logistically serve these areas. The closure represents a loss of 125,000 t/month of DAP/MAP.

 
 
Kenya

Ma’aden reported the sale of 30,000t DAP for February shipment to several buyers in Kenya at the equivalent of $425-430/t cfr. Devji Meghi and Yara were reported to be among the interested parties. Buyers have not confirmed pulling the trigger at this level, but said that discussions at this price were ongoing. The application season is imminent.

Morocco
OCP is comfortable for February. There was slightly lower granulation rates at around 550,000t due to increased phosphoric acid shipments to India. The current lineup for next month thus comprises two DAP/MAP vessels to the US, three more vessels to Ethiopia against the 2017 tender award, two 36,000t cargoes of NPK 14-18-18 sold under the contract with Benin (this will complete the 130,000t agreement), 60,000t of NPK 15-15-15 to Nigeria and 40,000t NPK 15-15-15+B to Ivory Coast and Ghana. Around 40,000t DAP would also be ship to Nigeria under the g2g agreement. In terms of price ideas, OCP was holding in the $430s/t fob for European destinations but being bid considerably lower.
On Ethiopia, another three vessels at least would be shipped in March to take total shipments to around 750,000t but OCP was thought to be shipping the optional plus 20pc. Another NPS tender however looks unlikely due to financing issues in Ethiopia.

South Africa
Foskor was running at normal rates on phosphoric acid and MAP. On spot availability, the company was only taking domestic orders, and was not expected to export to the international market for the foreseeable future.

Tunisia
GCT sold 15,000t DAP at $412-415/t fob for late January / early February shipment to Mediterranean and Atlantic coast European destinations.

 

POTASH

Delays in Russian firm Eurochem’s production start-up at Usolskiy and the limited impact globally of the Garlyk mine in Turkmenistan have caused potash market participants to re-evaluate the speed at which new product would enter and affect the global export market. Existing suppliers have been able to raise prices on tight supply, and the antidote to firming levels was largely going to be down to new capacity, a sizeable new entrant to the potash-producing market, and the stability of production from K+S’ German operations after a period of production losses. But any price disruption is now looking likely to be minimal — not just for the first half of the year, but possibly well into late 2018. Meanwhile, initial dialogue between suppliers and the consortium of Chinese buyers regarding this year’s annual contracts has begun. But a later Chinese new year in 2018 than in 2017 means that the chances of any negotiations happening before March were unlikely, and with the application season only starting during that month, MOP port stocks looked set to remain at or above 1.8mn t during the first quarter. In the major MOP marketplaces, Southeast Asian and Brazilian price assessments were unchanged, but levels in Europe for granular MOP dropped back to €260-265/t cfr amid minimal activity, from mid-January’s €262-270/t cfr. In the US, where the market was also quiet, the range for granular MOP widened slightly to $232-237/st fob Nola.

 



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