Calum Findlay, Gleadell’s fertiliser manager, comments on fertiliser markets:Urea
After a correction in urea prices over the past few weeks, recent tenders have elevated the market once again. Globally, the urea market is unsure on which direction to take, however, last week saw Pakistan buy 300,000mt, and today sees another Indian urea tender.
Whilst quantities are unknown, it is understood that they have over a million tonnes still to buy. The outcome could be a decider on which way the market will steer over the next few months, and many traders believe that the prices today will determine the levels to be seen until the end of the year. In Europe and the UK, activity remains low as harvest continues and buyers sit on the sidelines.Ammonium Nitrate
Globally, small shipments of AN are being traded into a market that is still very slow and prices have not altered significantly for many weeks. Some producers have factory turnarounds and are reporting that stocks are tightening which will help to support prices once we see the autumn market start to run.
In the UK, national prices will rise by £4 per tonne from 1st September but, compared to the price in September 2011, ammonium nitrate still remains approximately £30 lower than last year so remains an excellent buy considering where grain
prices are today.Phosphates
The global phosphates market has remained subdued up until now. There are signs that activity is picking up, and this is likely to increase as we enter September. Pakistan is rumoured to have stepped back into the phosphates market, as demand increases due to replanting to recoup losses following heavy monsoon rains. In Europe, the market remains slow, but there are expectations that buying activity will pick up also as we enter September. New shipment prices for September are around similar prices seen today on farm.Potash
It has been another quiet week for the potash market, as most market participants are on summer or Ramadan holidays. Prices have remained stable with little fresh interest from Europe, however, the confidence from European market participants could be changing. Overall fears that prices could decline have kept buyers cautious this quarter.