03 April 2009 14:48 [Source: ICIS news]
No new business from Yuzhny or the
Buyers generally viewed the market as balanced to tight, but were unwilling to commit forward at higher prices because of the unclear demand picture, particularly in
Sources noted that European ammonia producers were restarting a number of plants as gas prices were lower from 1 April and, as a result, were using this as a bargaining tool when they come to import ammonia.
Meanwhile, US buyers were avoiding buying as the spring application season has been delayed, storage tanks are full and the outlook for industrial use and phosphates demand is unclear.
Additionally, much higher prices than agreed under the April Tampa contract at $318/tonne (€235/tonne) cost and freight (CFR) would have to be paid to secure Yuzhny or Middle East ammonia, sources said.
However, April availability is reduced from major supply sources.
In Yuzhny, some 190,000 tonnes is already committed for April shipment, with just 10,000 tonnes still available from Ukrainian supplier Odessa Port Plant.
Traders were unwilling to pay higher than last done business at $280-285/tonne free on board (FOB) saying they do not need the extra tonnage.
Producers were confident, however, that demand would pick up in May.
Sources note that earlier spot offers above $300/tonne FOB
Meanwhile, the closure of PCS Nitrogen’s No 04 ammonia plant in Port Lisas,
($1 = €0.74)
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