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Argus Events

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

International Monthly Average Prices for selected Fertilizers

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

Market higlights


East of Suez there is limited spot trade and prices are fairly stable. Chinese urea has changed hands at about $201/t fob end of June, and there were no outstanding shorts known to be below $200/t fob. Stocks in ports are reckoned around 300-400,000t, but there were still one or two cargoes to load for India from the last tender so availability was even less than it appeared. North African prices still hovered in the low-$190s/t fob. Algerian offers in the high-$190s/t fob were not accepted by June ending. Egyptian offers were still above $190/t fob, but Abu Qir scrapped a tender after receiving bids in the mid-$180s/t fob. Producers in Egypt were yet to find out the gas supply situation for July – depending on how much is made available to factories, there are likely to be further exports. European trade was limited, with a great deal booked already and currency uncertainty diminished appetite for fresh tonnes. Short positions seemed generally to reflect the low- $180s/t fob north Africa, but the market was not there yet. Overall, the market was managing quite well what seems to be an inevitable price decline as supply increases steadily outpace demand. On that note, Nigeria’s Indorama will load its first export cargo of granular urea at Port Harcourt in the first half of July. At the same time, Uralchem will have very limited spot availability for urea and AN in July-August due to unexpectedly extended turnarounds.


Indorama will load the first export cargo of granular urea from its new plant at Port Harcourt in Nigeria in the first half of July. It was also negotiating the sale of 20,000t for loading 7-10 July. Its dedicated berth is capable of loading up to standard 8,000t/day. The 4,000t/day plant achieved on-spec production earlier in June and is producing well.


Sorfert had vessels totalling 39,000t of urea booked to load in July, four small lots and one 20,000t cargo. Producer price ideas wre still said to be unworkable in the high-$190s/t fob towards the end June.


OCI has sold 15,000t to Tanzania with a netback of around $197/t fob. It is expected to load the cargo from Adabiya. Abu Qir scrapped its 23 June tender, for which bids were generally heard in the mid-$180s/t fob. Producers learnt what level of gas supply they will receive in July. Entering the summer months it is likely that power sector demand will increase, and possible that this will be prioritized over export-oriented fertilizer plants. For now operating rates are stable and all plants are heard running, other than one of Mopco’s three units.


Globally the phosphates market continues to trade sideways to slightly down but liquidity continues with close to 500,000t DAP/MAP trading through June ending. India led the way with close to 200,000t ex-China and Saudi Arabia, with Europe and Brazil taking around 80,000t each. Turkey and Argentina also booked fresh cargoes. West of Suez, OCP made a direct DAP/MAP sale to Argentina in the mid/high-$350s/t cfr and placed additional MAP into Brazil at prevailing levels. EuroChem reported substantial June -July sales also for Brazil in the lower-$350s/t cfr. In Europe, Turkey provided an outlet for Russian and Lithuanian DAP while OCP also placed further DAP into Mediterranean and eastern European markets at prevailing price levels. Exchange rate volatility and a sharp fall in the value of the pound against the US dollar are the greatest near-term challenges for fertilizer importers and sellers in the wake of the UK's vote to leave the EU. Sellers began withdrawing offers in the run-up to the 23 June referendum and stayed out of the market as the result of the vote triggered renewed volatility in currency markets. In the medium term, the impact of the vote is likely to be limited as the European application season is drawing to a close. The longer term could see deepening uncertainty around trade policy, although European market participants do not anticipate the imposition of fertilizer trade tariffs following a two-year negotiation period for the UK to arrange its exit from the EU. But the status of subsidies under the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) presents greater cause for uncertainty.


OCP confirmed selling 150,000t MAP and NPKs to Brazil netting in the mid/high-$340s/t fob. This s in June. It additionally shipped 120,000t to European markets – much of it to Bulgaria and Romania with 10,000t MAP for Turkey. Around 200,000t DAP/MAP/NPKs will ship to its African markets and there will be two DAP/MAP panamaxes for the US priced under formula. All two traders DAP/MAP cargoes for Latin America (Nitron and Indagro), loaded in June. TSP was similarly heavily committed for June, with 40,000-50,000t for Brazil, small lots to European markets and two vessels for Bangladesh (for the public and private sectors).


After a wait of six months, the global potash market had its first benchmark price of the year. Belarus’ BPC agreed to supply leading Indian importer IPL with 700,000t of MOP at $227/t cfr including 180 days' credit for the 2016-17 contract term, representing a decline of $105/t on last year's headline price. Shipments started from 1 July and run until the end of June 2017. This price is the lowest Indian contract level for 10 years and some suppliers, such as Uralkali and Canpotex, state they are not ready to simply follow it. It remains to be seen how long they will maintain this stance considering one substantial contract has already been fully confirmed. With Chinese contract talks still languishing, this deal is the only major contract agreement of the year and several suppliers are hopeful it will establish a global benchmark level instilling the spot market with more clarity and confidence. Already, certain suppliers to southeast Asia and Brazil have indicated they now intend to move prices up in line with the Indian contract level on an equivalent basis. But it is too early yet to see any genuine spot price reaction in the major markets. Despite the differing views of the price level, the Indian contract has lifted market sentiment and some spot price stabilization is now widely expected in the coming weeks. A sharp spot price rally is unlikely, however, as suppliers still need to place tonnes and have limited attractive outlets.


OCP has booked 20,000t of standard MOP from BPC at an undisclosed price for end-August/early-September shipment. OCP is understood to require around 60,000t in total for 3Q delivery. A trader was checking freight for 30,500t of MOP loading 16-20 July in St John, Canada for shipment to Jorf Lasfar. NCZ recently requested 10,000-15,000t of standard MOP for 3Q shipment to Zambia. Local traders took the awards and are understood to be looking for coverage. There are some small enquiries for lots below 500t in countries including Mali and the Republic of Congo.

Central/West Africa

NCZ recently requested 10,000-15,000t of standard MOP for 3Q shipment to Zambia. Local traders took the awards and are understood to be looking for coverage. There are some small enquiries for lots below 500t in countries including Mali and the Republic of Congo.

Source: Argus FMB

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