Urea Prices, markets & analysis
The ICIS weekly Urea reports are covered in China, Europe and the US as well as globally in The Market report. For China, there is an extensive coverage of export, ex-works and ex-warehouse prices, and the Europe report concentrates on spot prilled and granular grades in Yuzhny, Baltic, Middle East and northwest Europe, while the US has spot quotes for the US Gulf and Arab Gulf. All these prices assessments are supported by an independent market commentary that includes details of production news, exports, regional updates, demand and supply and any other key influencing factors. This reliable market intelligence can help you to make informed commercial choices.
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 Q1 2016
Ample supply and slow demand will continue to put downward pressure on the global urea market in the first quarter of 2016. Macro-economic concerns such as currency volatility in several buying nations, economic woes and lower crude oil prices have added to the pessimism. The start-up of new urea plants in Africa and the US in 2015-2016 will also add to the oversupply situation.
Given the weak outlook for urea prices and ample stocks of urea at warehouses across the world, buyers are in no hurry to make purchases and will remain cautious, buying on a hand to mouth basis.
Granular urea in the Arab Gulf traded in the mid-$220s/tonne FOB in early January, down 40% from the same period last year and is expected to remain under pressure given muted demand in the Americas and Europe.
In Yuzhny, prilled prices dropped by nearly 30% from a year ago, to $220-225/tonne FOB in early January, with buyers in Turkey now looking for lower numbers in next business.
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.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Urea, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
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.