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Updated to Q1 2018
With hardly any scheduled or unscheduled plant shutdowns at the start of the year, it was mainly business as usual for ammonia manufacturers, with PETRONAS particularly active in the spot market with several FOB and CFR cargoes sold. The Malaysian material mainly headed to Thailand and Japan, markets previously well served by Trammo with tonnes from Indonesia’s KPI. However, that producer’s decision to market its own tonnes from March – as well as sign a 250,000 tonne/year deal with CIFC for cargoes for India – created opportunities for other market participants.
With traditional spot buyers in Korea and Taiwan notable by their absence, suppliers looked to other countries to place spot volumes, with China proving a popular destination for cargoes unable to find a home elsewhere. Ameropa, Mitsubishi, and Koch all sold spot CFR material to buyers who would have sourced domestically had many plants not been shut down due to new legislation and higher production costs. Seasonal spot activity was also noted in the Philippines and Vietnam as Trammo delivered several parcels to southeast Asia.
Updated to Q1 2018
The benchmark Yuzhny FOB ammonia price plunged by around a third between January and March as suppliers struggled to shift volumes, with cargoes from the Black Sea port sold on a spot basis for delivery to as far afield as China and Australia. Ending the quarter at around $230/tonne FOB, the index slumped by about $100/tonne over the 13-week period as global oversupply and soft spot demand limited producers’ sales options. Russia’s Togliatti toyed with taking one of its six units offline to force a floor, but had yet to do so by the end of March.
Soft spot demand from buyers in northwest Europe and Turkey gave several ammonia producers a real headache as they fought to place tonnes in early 2018. Phosphates giant OCP Morocco came to the rescue in January with around 85,000 tonnes shipped from the Black Sea, but weak demand in February meant Ameropa loaded tonnes for spot buyers in Asia Pacific. Surplus URALCHEM material from the Baltic in early March was taken by traders Trammo and OCI to Turkey and the Netherlands, respectively.
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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