Latest FOB International Fertilizer Prices – updated at March 2021

Fertilizer Price Trends
Argus Nitrogen Urea (prilled bulk fob Black Sea) 215 202 209 216 245 239 235 238 239 282 336 345



Argus Nitrogen Urea (granular bulk fob Middle East) [all netbacks] 246 201 202 217 253 244 263 254 254 307 344 358



Argus Nitrogen Urea (granular bulk fob Nigeria) 237 216 222 237 269 256 255 263 268 316 371 383



Argus Ammonia Ammonium sulphate (bulk fob Black Sea) 117 105 102 100 100 106 113 118 123 128 135 158



Argus Ammonia Ammonia (fob North Africa) 219 196 185 184 185 199 209 217 228 267 346 441



Argus Phosphates DAP (bulk fob Morocco) 304 300 300 310 321 343 357 373 392 438 531 561



Argus Phosphates DAP (bulk fob Russia Baltic/Black Sea) 290 288 289 297 307 325 330 345 361 410 534 551



Argus Phosphates DAP (bulk fob Saudi Arabia) [KSA] 304 306 306 312 326 351 361 356 361 426 459 517



Argus Phosphates MAP (bulk fob Morocco) 301 295 306 320 329 347 354 365 382 443 570 608



Argus Phosphates TSP (bulk fob Morocco) 244 240 231 229 236 240 247 255 269 318 430 473



Argus Phosphates Phosphate rock (69% BPL bulk fob north Africa) 74 78 78 78 78 78 80 83 83 83 83 93



Argus Potash Potash standard MOP (bulk fob Jordan) 223 222 226 225 227 226 224 225 233 232 234 238



Argus Potash Potash granular MOP (bulk fob Baltic) 229 232 237 232 228 225 220 223 226 230 227 232



Argus Potash Potash standard SOP (bulk fob northwest Europe [in €] 420 430 440 432 415 414 410 410 410 410 410 421



Argus NPK NPK 15-15-15 (fob Morocco) 246 241 240 238 245 248 249 250 254 266 309 332



Copyright © 2021 Argus Media group. All rights reserved.


Copyright © 2021 Argus Media group. All rights reserved.

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Fertilizer Market Comments


AOA offered urea for end-April loading and invited bids from traders. Sorfert was sold out for March. Keytrade loaded 40,000t of granular urea in Arzew in mid March for the Mississippi River. Freight rose to the mid/high-$30s/t. Sorfert was committed for April. Fertiglobe took part of the tonnage for Spain and restocked its European system, with the balance moving through traders. Netbacks from Spain were equivalent to $390-395/t fob Arzew. No new sales were reported. AOA had second half April tonnage to sell and asked $390-395/t fob against any inquiries in the third week of March. Price indications remained around $390/t fob for granular urea for April. Sorfert was occupied with shipping to European markets.
Helwan Fertilizer sold a further 5,000t of granular urea at $395/t fob for April shipment, plus 2,000t top-off tonnage at $400/t fob. Abu Qir sold 25,000t of granular urea at $396/t fob for April shipment. Kima restarted production at its granular urea plant at Aswan on 3 March after an extended turnaround. It had 30,000t of granular urea for export by the end of March. On 8 March, Helwan sold 10,000t of granular urea to a single trader at $400/t fob Damietta, for May shipment. This was the first sale reported for May shipment. It was also the first time Egyptian urea has traded at $400/t fob since April 2014. No other trades were reported during the second week of March. Producers maintained asking prices at $400/t fob for balance April and May, but buyers could not see the possibility of selling at this netback in any market. On 12 March, Fertiglobe sold 6-10,000t of granular urea at $400/t fob for April shipment from Damietta. Cargoes of this size were normally shipped to European markets. Prices in Europe gradually increased and one sale in Italy was reported close to $430/t cfr in the third week of March, netting in the high- $390s/t fob Egypt. Netbacks from other European markets were $390-395/t fob. Most of the Egyptian producers had sold their April export tonnage. Mopco and Abu Qir had small quantities of granular and prilled urea remaining, while Kima had some granular. The others are offering only May shipment. Consequently, offers remained at $400/t fob, despite netbacks from European sales failing to attain that level. Very little urea was sold for May and pressure mounted on producers as April progresses.
The current travails in the freight market were contributing to delays in the shipment schedule for urea moving to Ethiopia under EABC’s 2020 tender. One cargo loaded in the Middle East in March that should have loaded in November under the original schedule. EABC was reported to be unable to find vessels to load the full 50-55,000t lot sizes and were shipping lower tonnages within the +/- 20pc shipping tolerance under its contracts. We estimated that at least five 50-55,000t vessels were loaded under the tender awards, from China, Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi.
Indagro loaded 20,000t of prilled urea in MEB 15-18 March for two ports east coast Mexico.
Urea sales rose strongly in Nigeria in 2020 partly due to a resumption of the Presidential fertilizer initiative, under which urea was purchased for bulk blending. The initiative has been maintained for 2021. Total sales were estimated at more than 1mn t last year, supplied by the two Nigerian producers Indorama, who delivered around 900,000t, and Notore. As a result, exports fell by more than 200,000t, from 665,000t in 2019 to 442,000t in 2020. The main export destinations were Brazil, taking 306,000t (436,000t in 2019), Uruguay 77,000t (zero) and the US 40,000t (zero). Shipments to other West African markets fell to just 19,000t from 170,000t in 2019. Indorama received inquiries from large buyers in Brazil for granular urea for first half April shipment from Nigeria. The prices in Brazil were netback around $390/t fob Onne. Dangote Fertilizer announced that it began granular urea production at its new complex at Lekki, near Lagos in the southwest of the country, on 24 March. It was assumed that trial production has begun, and that commercial production was still some weeks away, but this could not be confirmed. Dangote was building two ammonia and two urea plants at the site, each with a capacity to produce 1.27mn t/yr of granular urea. Draft limitations at Lekki port will limit vessel size to 10,000-12,000t until a deepwater facility is built, so much of the production was expected to go to the domestic market initially.
South Africa
Urea imports were little changed in 2020 at 792,000t, according to statistics from the South African Revenue Service/ GTT, down from 809,000t in 2019. The main change was in the origin of imports. Sabic more than doubled its shipments to South Africa to 407,000t (195,000t in 2019), while Muntajat’s shipments fell to 148,000t (329,000t). Some 107,000t of urea were shown arriving from Oman in 2020, up from 51,000t in 2019, most of which was presumed to be Iranian origin.
The Agricultural Bank of Sudan tendered on 25 March to buy 100,000t of granular urea, plus DAP, for April/May shipment.
West Africa
Inquiries for three prompt cargoes of prilled urea surfaced the fourth week in March to cover demand from West African markets. Little urea was shipped against the tenders awarded in the region in the second half of last year until now. Traders purchased urea at the equivalent of $400-410/t cfr to cover this demand.


East Africa
Ma’aden loaded its cargoes for East African buyers. A freight enquiry circulated in the second week of March to ship 33,000-40,000t of DAP to Mombasa/Dar Es Salaam, loading from Ras Al Khair during 27-29 March. Tanzania’s fertilizer regulatory authority (TFRA) had mulled issuing an enquiry under their bulk procurement system to buy DAP, but has since scrapped the plans, market participants said. Low interest from importers was the main reason cited behind the scrapping.
The maintenance at NCIC’s Ain Sokhna facility for April appeared to have been pushed back, with the producer loading DAP cargoes for trading firms in April. NCIC has concluded sales with trading firms for volumes loading as far ahead as July. A trading firm was in the freight market to ship 30,000t of DAP from Damietta to the US, loading 19-23 March. NCIC was reportedly booked up with commitments up to May-June. The low-end was raised to $545/t fob, reflecting firmer levels at Nola. Product was on offer in Black Sea markets for June loading, at a discount of around $5/t to Moroccan levels.
Suez Canal blockage impacts fertilizer shipments
A container vessel ran aground in the Suez Canal, halting movements through the essential waterway that connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. Among the hundreds of ships impacted by the incident were also several vessels transporting fertilizers. The vessel Chemroad Journey, carrying 31,000t of phosphoric acid, was scheduled to arrive at Port Said in Egypt in the fourth week in March after leaving Jorf Lasfar in Morocco on 18 March. The vessel was destined for the Indian subcontinent. And the Star Nike, transporting 61,000t of NPS from Morocco to Ethiopia, was also expected at Port Said in the fourth week in March. The vessel Asia Ruby III, which was journeying to Morocco to load 61,000t of NPS, waited at the southern end of the canal. A trading firm loaded a Jordanian vessel of phosphates for Brazil in the fourth week in March, which was scheduled to cross the Suez Canal from Aqaba. Preliminary estimates by market participants were that it could take 10 days to clear the Suez Canal for shipments. But the specific impact of the delays was unclear.
Following latest business in February, import demand was muted, as arrivals were enough to supply applications during the March-May rain season.
OCP had no new sales to report in the first week of March, with no fresh conclusions of MAP in Brazil.
Loading delays curb OCP’s February fertilizer exports
Fertilizer exports from Moroccan producer OCP were down by a third last month compared with loadings in February 2020, Argus line-up data show. Shipments from the port of Jorf Lasfar on the Atlantic coast, where OCP operates its major production hub, were down following several port closures caused by adverse weather conditions that hindered loading activities and created delays.
OC P lifts 4Q20 revenue on higher volumes, prices
Moroccan fertilizer producer OCP posted sales revenue of 14.5bn dirhams ($1.6bn) last quarter, from Dh11.6bn a year earlier, driven by improved market conditions.
OC P strengthens Nigeria fertilizer ties
OCP took steps to further strengthen its ties with Nigeria’s fertilizer market, reaffirming its “unwavering support” for agricultural developments in the country.
OCP reported the sale of 8,000-10,000t of DAP to a western European market at $590/t fob. But this could not be confirmed by the buy-side. Market participants reported DAP offers into Ghent at $600/t fca, reflecting around $570/tfob. OCP also reported the sale of 20,000-25,000t of MAP into Brazil, reflecting around $620/t fob. But this sale was linked to a premium port in Brazil and was deemed not indicative of current levels. OCP sold 30,000t of MAP to Argentina, loading in April. Spot freight indications were in the $40s/t, but OCP fixed the vessel under a COA at a level of around the mid/high-$20s/t. Theoretical netbacks from DAP levels in northern Europe range from $550-570/t fob, with Germany at the low-end and Ghent at the high-end. OCP was targeting $590/t fob and above for DAP sales, with Spain a likely target. The producer expected to end its rolling maintenance at its Jorf Lasfar facility at the end of March. Production dropped to around 800,000-850,000 t/mth of finished fertilizers in the first quarter. OCP was mostly absent from the market in the fourth week of March, and market participants reported a lack of offers for shipment in April and May from the phosphate’s giant. Indications from market participants pointed to DAP prices in the $570-580/t fob range, with the low-end reflecting netbacks from northern European markets. Price indications by the producer into Brazil ranged from $635-640/t cfr.
OCP speeds up loadings at Jorf Lasfar
OCP was on track to make up for loading delays at the port of Jorf Lasfar that emerged because of several weather-related
port closures last month, Argus line-up data show. Vessels carrying a combined 830,000t of fertilizers – DAP, MAP, NPKs, NPS and TSP – so far departed the port as of 23 March, compared with total shipments of 662,000t in February. Vessels were waiting to load a further 140,000t of fertilizers in the fourth week.
OCP ups fertilizer sales in 2020
Moroccan phosphates giant OCP sold 11.3mn t of finished fertilizers last year, up from 9mn t in 2019, as it expanded output at its Jorf Lasfar facility. But profit dropped to 6.26bn dirhams ($690mn) from Dh6.36bn, reflecting a Dh3bn contribution to Morocco’s Covid-19 fund.
Sales pivot towards India, Brazil, away from US
OCP finished fertilizer sales were driven by increased demand from key destinations India and Brazil. The rise in volumes offset a drop in average finished fertilizer prices. The Argus DAP index, a weighted composite of DAP fob prices from the five largest export markets — the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Morocco — averaged 92.6 points, down from 101.1 points in 2019.
OCP remained positive about 2021, citing strong fundamentals at the start of the year, underpinned by stable supply and rising raw material availability. Prices rose sharply in the first quarter of this year, with the Argus DAP index hitting 158.5 points in the third week.
Tanzania’s One Acre closed a tender on 3 March to purchase close to 8,000t of DAP, in combination with NPKs and urea, for the Rwandan market. Ma’aden took the awards. Product is to be delivered to the ports of Dar es Salaam or Mombasa by 15 April, where they will be bagged and then transported to regional warehouses for distribution by 1 July.
A trading firm shipped 15,000t of MAP from Dakar, likely to Brazil, rather than the US, loading in the second half of March. An April MAP cargo, likely between 15,000-20,000t, loaded for the US on behalf of another major supplierICS sold another two parcels of MAP, totalling 35,000t, which will load April. One was earmarked for Mali and the other was shipped to northern Europe. The producer was running at around 600 t/d of MAP. ICS was sold out until May.
South Africa
A trading firm was linked to a panamax shipment of fertilizer from the Chinese river port of Nanjing to South Africa, but this could not be confirmed by presstime.
Foskor shuts MAP production, declares force majeure
Producer Foskor declared force majeure in the second week, as the sulphur burner at its production facility was shut down since 8 March and was planned to come back online by 23 March. MAP production will be shut down until then. Foskor has one sulphur burner, and usually produces 1,400 t/d of MAP. The outage was scheduled to last for 15 days in total, with no MAP production for almost two more weeks. The reasons for the outage were unclear and analysis continued, Foskor said. Foskor remained on track to bring MAP production back on stream by 23 March, the firm said. South African fertilizer producer Foskor restarted the units at its Richards Bay production facility as planned after an outage of more than two weeks. Foskor shut down its sulphur burner on 8 March because of technical problems, stopping output of sulphuric acid and MAP, and affecting the consumption of sulphur. The producer declared force majeure on its fertilizer commitments but began restarting as planned on 23 March. Foskor operates one sulphur burner at its Richards Bay facility on South Africa’s east coast and produces an average of 1,400 t/d (511,000 t/yr) of MAP. It was the only MAP producer in South Africa, processing phosphate rock from its Phalaborwa mine.
The Agricultural Bank of Sudan closed a tender on 25 March for 50,000t of DAP and 100,000t of granular urea. The delivery window was tight, with the request for April/May delivery.
GCT sold a parcel of 5,000t of DAP to Turkey, which was loaded in March, at $555/t fob. Trading firms had indicated offers as high as $570/t fob, but no sales took place. GCT had no new sales in the second week. GCT had no new sales reported in the third week. An asphalt tank exploded at a facility, also owned by a GCT entity, in Gabes on 13 March. But there was no material impact on fertilizer production. There was a brief reduction in activity the day following the blast out of respect for those who died.


Water-soluble SOP to southern Europe was priced at $435-450/t fob and $480-495/t cfr, according to a Middle Eastern trader.
South Africa
Granular MOP prices rose to $270-300/t cfr Durban, from $255-270/t cfr, as new sales reflected global increases, and levels in Brazil in particular. Domestic sales were seasonally slow, even though market participants expected price increase. Granular MOP prices were held at $270-300/t cfr in the third week, but the top end of the range was where the bulk of sales are happening. One buyer had an offer at the low end of the range, but expectations were that freight rates and global MOP prices will keep pushing price levels up in South Africa. Business to South Africa was done at levels of $480- 495/t cfr for water-soluble SOP, mainly bought for NPK production.

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