Ammonia Prices, markets & analysis
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Ammonia – Europe Transcript
ICIS reports on Ammonia on a global basis, with reports in Europe, Asia and the US.
At the same time, unlike our competitors we are able to draw on global resources in London, Huston, Singapore and Shanghai.
In Europe, we report on the key benchmark using the FOB spot price and also includes CFR prices for Africa and North West Europe.
In the Asia section we have CFR prices for India, Taiwan and Korea.
Throughout the week we speak to a wide range of people including producers, consumers and traders in order to obtain a broad range of accurate information for our subscribers.
All of our reporting is backed up by strong methodology.
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Most ammonium phosphate producers, particularly diammonium phosphate (DAP) producers, faced tight production demands in the first half of October. They were working hard to expand their volumes of bonded cargoes, as well as fulfilling previous export offers. The window for a low export tariff on ammonium phosphate closed on 15 October. Then China's ammonium phosphate exports mostly came to an end. Volumes in bonded warehouses were limited. Even large DAP producers only had around 50,000 tonnes of bonded cargoes.
Many producers shut their plants for maintenance in October, when domestic autumn demand was near its end, while demand for winter reservations was yet to come. Average operating rates at domestic monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and DAP plants were low at 50-55%.
The export tariff on ammonium phosphate will continue at yuan (CNY) 100/tonne throughout 2015, according to news from the phosphate compound fertilizer conference in early November. Meanwhile, value-added taxes will be re-levied. Both are boosts to ammonium phosphate prices. However, specific policies were not due to be announced until mid-December. Producers tried to firm prices prior to the announcement, while buyers mainly stood on the sidelines, resulting in slow transactions for this year's winter reservations of DAP.
In early December, 64% DAP prices were settled at CNY2,900-3,050/tonne DEL northeast China. At the same time, most MAP producers arranged their production through to January 2015 to fulfil orders, as demand for MAP improved following the production recovery at downstream compound fertilizer plants from mid- to late November. EXW prices for 55% powdered MAP were at CNY2,050-2,100/tonne.
Updated to Q4 2014
The benchmark Black Sea ammonia price remained relatively stable at $500-515/tonne FOB (free on board) Yuzhny for April and May loadings. However, the price fell by around 10% for June cargoes amid softening demand and increased spot availability in the Baltic and North Africa.
Against a backdrop of the tense geopolitical situation in Ukraine and uncertainty over the price of Russian natural gas imports, ammonia cargoes continued to load normally throughout the quarter. The deteriorating security situation in eastern Ukraine did lead to the shutdown of ammonia operations at Gorlovka and Severondonetsk in early May.
Major producers NF Trading and OPZ – which took one of its ammonia lines off line for maintenance in early June – had hoped the supply squeeze would generate some upward price momentum. However, weak urea prices meant extra ammonia cargoes were available in the Baltic, with Yara International and Koch Industries buying around 100,000 tonnes between them.
These purchases by regular Black Sea buyers were compounded by improved spot availability in Algeria, where Moroccan phosphate giant OCP sealed a spot deal for 40,000 tonnes of Sorfert ammonia. These deals placed further downward pressure on June cargoes in Yuzhny, with prices falling to $450-465/tonne FOB.
Updated to Q2 2014
Domestic ammonium phosphate demand decreased significantly in April, which saw a growing number of producers diverting their attention to export market. However, most market participants held a pessimistic market outlook for April as the export market conditions were poor in the previous year and as Indian buyers held lower buying ideas in the first quarter of the year.
In May however, many monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and diammonium phosphate (DAP) producers were not inclined to deliver a large amount of cargoes to ports as they did in the previous year, in order to avoid increasing opportunities for price cuts by Indian buyers. Plant operating rates decreased to 50-60% because of producers’ bearish export expectations. Even if an low export tax window opened, producers were also not eager to deliver their cargoes to ports. They firmed their selling ideas at $435-440/tonne for 64% DAP.
Export prices were at around $450/tonne CFR (cost & freight) India for DAP in late May and early June, supported by international ammonium phosphate prices. In addition, demand for MAP and DAP was strong from the US, which saw export prices for ammonium phosphate firming and orders increasing gradually. Plant operating rates rose to 65-70%.
Updated to Q2 2014
ICIS reports on ammonia on a global basis, with reports in Europe, Asia and the US. At the same time, we are able to draw on global resources in London, Houston (Texas), Singapore and Shanghai.
In Europe, we report on the key benchmark using the free on board (FOB) Yuzhny spot price and also include cost & freight (CFR) prices for north Africa and northwest Europe (NWE).
In the Asia section, we have CFR prices for India, Taiwan and Korea. Throughout the week, we speak to a wide range of people – including producers, consumers and traders – in order to obtain a broad range of accurate information for our subscribers. All of our reporting is backed up by a strong methodology.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Ammonia. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enables you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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