Calum Findlay, Gleadell’s fertiliser manager, comments on fertiliser markets.
The global urea market is still looking for direction. Black Sea prices have traded firmer this week, which is supporting suppliers’ price ideas for the time being and forward paper market values have increased. More interest from Latin America has also appeared and there are a lot of discussions on summer turnarounds in the CIS which will take place at some stage.
If more buying sets in from traders who want to position themselves, we could see a rebound, but this remains to be seen. A new tender in Egypt for 25,000 tonnes of granular product today will help to give a better indication, but US urea prices historically do track the price of US corn, which is currently sky high and looking set to go firmer. So perhaps current values may be a buying opportunity.
Ammonium Nitrate?Ammonium nitrate demand is slow for UK product and imported material with prices remaining stable. The global situation is weak for ammonium nitrate and we could see producers cutting back on shipments to increase demand and push levels higher. The UK nationals were planning to increase prices by £4/t from July but it is unclear when, or even if, these new price changes will be released and the current wet weather continues to dampen any buying enthusiasm.
The phosphates market has slowed down its momentum and currently seems subdued compared with the last few weeks. There has been little new global business concluded this week on quiet demand. However, there is still DAP demand in India, but buyers are unwilling to pay the high prices being asked by producers. Chinese sellers are firm on their price ideas of at least $560/mt, but Pakistan and Bangladesh are quiet at present, while Latin American buyers have also stepped out of the market.