Mideast ammonia prices reach $460/tonne on SABIC spot sale

23 February 2011 15:34  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Ammonia prices in the Middle East have risen to $460/tonne (€336/tonne) following a new spot sale out of Saudi Arabia amid strong demand and limited spot availability, market sources said on Wednesday.

A source with Saudi Arabia-based petrochemical major SABIC said the company made the sale on a free on board (FOB) basis to trader Mitsui for March shipment to India's east coast.

The price was $2.50/tonne higher than the last completed business in the Middle East, also concluded by SABIC.

The new sale came amid strong demand for ammonia from traders and for end-users with deliveries to Asia.

At the same time, spot availability in the Middle East was somewhat limited.

Qatar Fertilizer Co (QAFCO) will shut down its No 2 ammonia/urea plant in March for three weeks of maintenance, which will result in the loss of 500 tonnes/day ammonia for export.

While there is extra supply coming from Saudi Arabia now that Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) has started up its ammonia plant, the unit's production has still not stabilised. In addition, SABIC also has contract commitments.

Sources said they expect that the extra supply from Saudi Arabia would be easily absorbed into the market in March without a detrimental impact on prices, as demand was sufficiently strong.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Rebecca Clarke
+44 20 8652 3214

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