Poor demand drags down phosphates market in most regions

Author: Sylvia Traganida

2020/06/12

LONDON (ICIS)--The phosphates market seems to be subdued but firm in some regions this week.

  • Chinese DAP prices unchanged on southeast Asia demand
  • Indian buyers to remain on sidelines due to high DAP stocks
  • Qatar sulphur tender expected to give some price direction to market

Following a flurry of activity recently, this week the market has slowed down as requirements are covered in most major regions.

In India, diammonium phosphate (DAP) buyers are on the sidelines due to a spate of recent purchases and ample stocks in the country. The annual monsoon season has started in the south, and it is predicted to be normal this year, which would determine fertilizer import demand for the rest of the year.

There was some activity in the sulphur market in India this week, where three major purchase tenders were under discussion. Of these, FACT was awarded at higher levels for Arab Gulf material, which pushed prices up. Demand is heard picking up in India for cargoes, as the material is needed for domestic phosphates production.

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In China, availability is tight for phosphates, but producers are focusing on the export market. Due to the lack of major demand from India, producers are looking at Pakistan and Bangladesh for business, and also to Brazil for monoammonium phosphate (MAP) 10.50 interest. Also, there is some buying demand from southeast Asia, which could temporarily support the market.

Chinese sulphur buyers are heard active in the market and import prices are firming due to higher freight rates and increased demand from the phosphates market.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Jones/Shutterstock (566687j)Farmers spread fertilizer on a field of strawberries in Nanning, south China.NANNING, CHINA - 2005

In the Americas, the Tampa DAP price has edged up, following an export sale from Mosaic to Latin America. In the domestic market, DAP/MAP barge prices are up on limited business. A US-based trader said that “it is dead here on DAP, phosphate demand likely months away.”

In Brazil, buyers are in the market for the soybean season in the summer. MAP prices have gone up and producers are increasing their offers.

On the supply side, producers are tight for June and in discussions for July business. Ma’aden has shipped a DAP cargo to Pakistan; EuroChem sold MAP to Brazil and has tight availability.

Middle East sulphur activity was subdued this week, as all monthly prices have been set. The closing of the Muntajat sales tender - the only availability out of the region - is expected to offer some price direction to the market.

Focus article by Sylvia Traganida

 

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