ICIS provides independent and unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis for the global Ammonia market. Our network of price reporters, based in Asia, Europe and the US, deliver local insight for each of these markets, which is published in our individual weekly and daily price reports.
If you buy or sell Ammonia or related products, our reports, news and market intelligence will give you the prices and analysis of the factors driving the prices that you need to make confident commercial decisions.
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Ammonia news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Ammonia analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Ammonia marketplace.
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Ammonia: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2018
A loosening of the supply/demand balance east of Suez means bullish conditions should end soon. The early January restart of the SAFCO IV plant in Saudi Arabia returns a lot more material to the market, while Egypt's EBIC-OCI is also running well. Market attention is focused on Indonesia as Mitsubishi prepares to load material from the new PAU plant, and KPI is poised to sell volumes directly rather than supply them to Trammo.
Spot demand is seen as stable in Korea and Taiwan, although there has been a notable uptick in spot enquiries from buyers on both coasts of India for Q1 cargoes. In Korea, LFC will soon receive the first slice of the 550,000 tonnes agreed for contract delivery during 2018, while Namhae will take delivery of the first cargo under its agreements for a combined 490,000 tonnes over the next 12 months.
The restart of major plants in North Africa (Sorfert Algeria) and Saudi Arabia (SAFCO IV) in late 2017/early 2018 saw the supply situation improve noticeably, triggering talk that prices may have peaked and will shortly stablise and soften. With new capacity in the US and southeast Asia due onstream in the coming weeks, market players are generally bearish, although start-up delays at the export-oriented PAU plant in Indonesia mean Mitsubishi may require an additional 150,000 tonnes during the quarter.
Strong spot demand for first-quarter cargoes has been noted from players in India, with regular spot buyers FACT and Deepak seeking parcels for early 2018 delivery to the west coast. On the east coast, CIL has been heard in the market for material, but price targets remain elusive for now. Koch acquired 40,000 spot tonnes from Sorfert Algeria for mid-January loading at $340/tonne FOB and is chasing an identical-sized cargo for February loading - amid talk one of its plants in the Americas is facing maintenance.
Production has stayed steady in the US and without additional capacity expected in the short-term and no plans revealed for turnarounds in 2018, the outlook for inventory levels immediately is to stay consistent.
With farmers expected to plant significant acreage of corn domestic demand will once again be strong but may not fully emerge in Q1 but rather start slowly depending on any weather issues in the key regions.
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Ammonia news & analysis
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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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Ammonia is a colourless, highly water-soluble gas with an intense, pungent, suffocating odour. It is alkaline and caustic, corrosive to copper and galvanised surfaces and is a powerful irritant. It is soluble in chloroform, ether and is easily liquefied under pressure. Liquid ammonia will attack some forms of plastics, rubber, and coatings.
Ammonia's major use is as a nitrogen source in fertilisers where it is both applied directly and used to produce derivatives including ammonium nitrate, urea, ammonium phosphates and ammonium sulphate.
Urea plants are integrated with ammonia production as they require the carbon dioxide by-product from ammonia units.
Ammonia also has a number of industrial end uses. Ammonium nitrate is used to make explosives while the medical grade is decomposed to nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Ammonium bicarbonate has applications in baking powder formulations, in fire extinguishers and as a blowing agent in the manufacture of polymers.
Ammonia is used in the production of hexamethylene diamine (HMDA) for nylon, acrylonitrile (ACN) for fibres and plastics, caprolactam for nylon, isocyanates for polyurethanes, and hydrazine.
Other uses for ammonia include as a refrigerant, a cleaning and bleaching agent, and a household cleaner. It is also used in metal treating operations.
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