06 January 2012 16:08 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Russian and Ukrainian ammonia producers have moved to limit supply in January in the face of weak demand and sliding prices, market sources said on Friday.
January export ammonia availability from Yuzhny, a port city in Ukraine, is expected to be just 150,000-160,000 tonnes/month compared with around 280,000-300,000 tonnes/month normally.
There is understood to be around 10,000 tonnes of OPZ ammonia available for January shipment.
The OPZ shutdown is expected to continue through January, but it is unclear whether the outage will last longer.
Production at Ukrainian units at
It is unclear at present whether the outages will continue into February, but will likely depend on how the market develops over the coming weeks.
Benchmark Yuzhny ammonia prices are currently indicated at $440-450/tonne (€343-351/tonne) FOB (free on board), down from $650/tonne FOB at the start of the fourth quarter of 2011.
However, since then prices have slid on the back of seasonally weak agricultural demand and a downturn in industrial demand due to economic uncertainty.
Downstream phosphate producers are also limiting output during the first quarter of this year.
($1 = €0.78)
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