International urea is weak; demand for ammonium phosphate in South Asia continues; potassium chloride trading is sluggish

International urea is weak; demand for ammonium phosphate in South Asia continues; potassium chloride trading is sluggish

  • Categories:News
  • Author:zhongcang
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  • Time of issue:2023-12-18
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(Summary description)International urea is weak; demand for ammonium phosphate in South Asia continues; potassium chloride trading is sluggish

International urea is weak; demand for ammonium phosphate in South Asia continues; potassium chloride trading is sluggish

(Summary description)International urea is weak; demand for ammonium phosphate in South Asia continues; potassium chloride trading is sluggish

  • Categories:News
  • Author:zhongcang
  • Origin:
  • Time of issue:2023-12-18
  • Views:0

Sluggish demand and a lack of optimism in most markets have led to another general decline in urea prices this week.

The FOB price of large granular urea has fallen in all regions. A batch of cargo in Qatar in January was sold at FOB317 USD/ton, Indonesia's highest bidding price was FOB321.5 USD/ton, and the Egyptian manufacturer's quotation was lowered to FOB340 USD/ton, Russian producers accepted lower prices with net proceeds from the US market.

Prices for small granular urea are also relatively low in most destinations. Prices in the United States and Brazil fell by about US$15/ton to CFR320-325/ton, imports from Europe and Turkey were priced at CFR340/ton, and imports from West Coast Latin America were purchased at CFR355-365/ton.

European natural gas prices fell 10% this week, further easing strains on regional supplies. Spot prices for TTF are running flat forward at around €35/MWh, leaving ample profit margins for nitrate producers.

Against the backdrop of ample urea supply, seasonal slowdowns in agricultural demand in most markets, coupled with a trend slowdown in trading in the run-up to Christmas, continue to weigh on nitrogen fertilizer prices.

Prices will continue to be depressed by sluggish demand in major import markets such as Brazil, the United States, Europe and India, as well as regional conflicts that pose little risk to supplies from the Middle East and Russia.

Ammonium sulfate
European ammonium sulfate market sentiment remained weak this week. Late last week, a fertilizer manufacturer purchased 3,000 tons of standard grade ammonium sulfate from a caprolactam manufacturer at a price of FOB 180 euros/ton and shipped it to Europe. The price of granular ammonium sulfate is stable. In January, about 7,000 tons of ammonium sulfate were shipped to Germany and Belgium. French December cargoes were also traded in small quantities. Demand for 2mm pellets weakened and no new orders emerged.

China's standard ammonium sulfate price is FOB115-120 US dollars/ton. Some manufacturers said supplies of goods were tight, with reports that most goods would be sold out by mid-January. But overall export demand from buyers for ammonium sulfate remains slow. There was an inquiry for 700,000 tons of standard ammonium sulfate shipped to Turkey from January to February, but no agreement was reached because the bidding price was CFR US$130/ton. The price of MMA grade ammonium sulfate is FOB US$110/ton, but there are no transaction reports. According to the latest buyers and suppliers, the price of extruded granular ammonium sulfate is FOB140-145 US dollars/ton. Demand in Brazil is generally weak, with importers inspecting only small cargoes for January shipments, but overall market sentiment is pessimistic. It is reported that 5,000 tons of extruded granular ammonium sulfate will be shipped in December, with an FOB price of US$130/ton, which remains to be confirmed.

Vietnamese importers have received offers for January shipments of MMA-grade ammonium sulfate at $135/tonne.

Pupuk Indonesia's bid to purchase 80,000 tons of standard ammonium sulfate on November 27 has not been successful. Pupuk once competed with merchants at a CFR price of US$110/ton from January to March, but merchants did not accept this price because the price of ammonium sulfate in China has rebounded slightly since the bidding.

An importer in the Philippines completed a bid to purchase 8,000 tons of standard ammonium sulfate at a lower price of US$140/ton, which will be shipped to SANGI Port before January 15. These goods may come from China, the FOB price is around US$110/ton, and the freight is about US$25/ton.

U.S. ammonium sulfate prices were steady this week with little trading. Corn Belt prices remained at $300-$335/ton for the second consecutive week. Prices for Nora have also remained unchanged this week, but are expected to fluctuate as exports progress in the coming weeks. Another round of buying is expected in late December/early January.

Offers for extruded granular ammonium sulfate fell in Brazil this week, following a downward trend in the urea market. Demand is generally weak as farmers focus mainly on soybean cultivation. Brazil's major corn-producing states may also postpone corn planting until February, which is expected to affect ammonium sulfate demand in the short term. Mato Grosso officially announced on December 8 that it would extend the soybean planting window to mid-January. Extruded pellets show a CFR of US$165-175/ton, while standard ammonium sulfate is stable at CFR135-145 US$/ton.

Ammonium phosphate
Ammonium phosphate trading activity this week was mainly concentrated in India and Pakistan, but prices were basically stable. The Indian National NFL purchased 55,000 tons of Moroccan diammonium at a price of US$590/ton. RCF is seeking to purchase 40,000 tonnes of diammonium for shipment by the end of December. Ma’aden sold 25,000 tons of diammonium to Pakistan, and the CIF price remained stable.

This week, a trading company sold some diammonium/monoammonium from China in a tender for shipment to the Midwest and South of the United States. The product was purchased before export restrictions were tightened and China is still unable to supply the international market. But Chinese buyers have been active in the phosphate rock market, purchasing products from Egypt and Australia.

Brazilian buyers continued to wait and see, waiting for the price of monoammonium to stabilize, but no transactions occurred. Demand for Procalcium is returning.

In the United States, diammonium and monoammonium barge prices continued to rise this week, reaching FOB 570-576 US dollars/ton and 615-620 US dollars/ton respectively.

Ammonium phosphate prices are expected to remain stable in the near term, with demand continuing into the first quarter. Asian markets are looking to build stocks ahead of planting, while supply from China will remain tight.

Potassium fertilizer
The upcoming holidays restrained the global potassium chloride market. The pressure brought by low transactions has caused prices in Brazil, Southeast Asia, the United States, Africa and other places to fall slightly this week. In contrast, market sentiment for potassium sulfate remains optimistic due to tight supply and good demand.

China's potassium chloride port stockpiles were 2.87 million tons. As of December 13, this was a decrease of 100,000 tons from last week and a decrease of 150,000 tons from the end of November. But it was 407,000 tons higher than the same period last year.

Brazil predicts that potassium chloride stocks will reach 4 million tons by the end of the year, reaching a record high, exceeding the previous estimate of 2.5 million tons. This forecast further solidifies the market’s bearish sentiment and once again strengthens buyers’ determination to delay purchases.

Because Christmas is approaching, transactions in the West will continue to be slow, which will affect price stability or weakness. In Southeast Asia, Indonesian Pupuk may issue tenders in the first half of 2024. Europe, on the other hand, may see some demand ahead of spring planting.
Compound fertilizer
Prices for new imports of NPK into China and Southeast Asia began to fall before demand began in the first quarter, as did prices for delivery within Europe. As the end of 2023 approaches, pricing flexibility is already starting to emerge as vendors aim to encourage early adoption in the first quarter of 2024.

In contrast, the price of 16-20-0 exported from China has increased as raw material costs and limited availability are factored into the calculation formula. But global markets remain largely calm, and that calm is unlikely to be broken, at least in the first few weeks of the new year.

The softer outlook for potash fertilizers and recent declines in product prices have reduced some price expectations in the NPK market.

Malian cotton producer CMDT issued a tender and issued contracts to 17 suppliers to purchase 113,086 tons of 4-18-18+5S+1B+2.5Ca0, 55,000 tons of 17-17-17 and 89,370 tons of granular urea.

Prices in the global nitrogen fertilizer market continue to slide due to limited import demand and buyer caution, with prospects remaining weak heading into the new year.

Compound fertilizer prices will further weaken, and demand may fall slightly in the first quarter of next year.



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