Urea Prices, markets & analysis
If you buy or sell Urea or related products, you need up-to-date global pricing data and the background information to help you understand it.
Our network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US enables us to deliver this. We publish their insights in our comprehensive daily and weekly price reports, plus we offer the news and analysis you need to put pricing information into context.
ICIS Urea overview
Urea is a key nitrogen fertilizer and a truly global product. Its price is extremely volatile and the product is highly traded and can see dramatic price swings on a regular basis, because of this, the accurate prices provided by ICIS are key to the market.
The key feedstock is natural gas via ammonia. Urea also has important relationships with crop prices such as wheat and corn.
Urea can also be used in the industrial sector to make UF resins, to make melamine; to make adhesives and paints. And for laminates, moulding compounds, paper and textiles.
Urea occurs as white crystals which absorb water. These are either odourless or have a slight smell of ammonia. Urea is not considered to be harmful at normal temperature, but the dust may irritate the skin, eyes and nose.
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Urea news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Urea analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Urea marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Urea
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Urea
Track historical price data
News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Urea
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Urea: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2015
The focus for the urea market in the second quarter will be the start-up of major new plants in Algeria, Saudi Arabia and then in the US (during the third quarter). While price levels are generally deemed to have already factored in expected new capacity, the outlook in the near term remains weak as buyers are slow to make purchases amid concerns over a further decline in prices.
Low-cost production rates in the Middle East have meant the producers are continuing to run plants despite significantly lower netbacks from markets such as Brazil and Thailand, while manufacturers in Yuzhny have found some relief from discounted Russian gas rates. Egyptian supply remains down with exports unlikely this summer due to severe gas curtailments
On the demand front, a pick-up in purchasing in Latin America is expected, while Pakistan and possibly India again will return to the markets with new import tenders. Demand from Europe and the US is also expected to resurface once the weather improves. However, against the backdrop of ample supply, the general belief is prices will continue to underperform compared with last year’s levels.
News & analysis
Urea news & analysis
ICIS launches Global Urea Markets General Methodology Consultation more >>
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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Urea occurs as white hygroscopic crystals, which are either odourless or have a slight smell of ammonia. Urea is not considered to be harmful at normal temperature, but the dust may irritate the skin, eyes and nose.
The major outlet for urea, accounting for nearly 90% of total consumption, is as a fertilizer. Urea is also used in the manufacture of urea-formaldehyde resins, the synthesis of melamine, in adhesives and paints, and for laminates, moulding compounds, impregnating paper and textiles.
Urea is widely traded on international fertilizer markets. There are two main hubs in urea trade – the Black Sea and Arab Gulf. These flows are said to determine the global urea prices.
Urea production involves a two step process where the ammonia and carbon dioxide react to form ammonium carbamate which is then dehydrated to urea. In the process, ammonia and carbon dioxide are fed to the synthesis reactor which operates around 180-210oC and 150 bar pressure.