Topic Page: Fertilizers - navigating the global downturn

Author: Deepika Thapliyal


The sharp global economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse in crude oil prices has wide-ranging implications for the fertilizers industry.

Bookmark this Topic Page to stay up to date at this unprecedented time with expert insight and analysis of the impact these developments are having on fertilizer markets.

Scroll down to see the latest interactive graphics, podcasts and videos.

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PODCAST: Urea market outlook stable for short term

By Sylvia Traganida 27-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)---Global urea prices are seen as stable for the next few weeks with India absorbing 2.2m tonnes of excess supply in the market. The question now is what happens next. ICIS editors Julia Meehan and Deepika Thapliyal discuss the medium term outlook for the market and the factors that will influence prices in 2020-2021.

Click here to listen in a new window.

Norwegian fertz giant Yara seeking to spearhead green ammonia and hydrogen revolution

By Richard Ewing 20-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Norway's Yara is promising to play a key role in the decarbonisation of the global fertilizer industry through zero emission technology focused on green ammonia and green hydrogen, senior executives reiterated on Tuesday.

One of the world's largest manufacturers of ammonia - which comprises nitrogen and hydrogen - and with large plants on most continents, the group sees the development of "green energy" as crucial to its sustainability goals and initiatives.

Attention turns to 2021 ammonia supply contracts amid limited spot business

By Richard Ewing 16-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Major ammonia market players are focused on negotiations over next year’s supply contracts rather than spot business, with only a few spot deals concluded.

Large buyers in South Korea, China and Taiwan are preparing to advance talks with manufacturers and traders over their requirements for 2021.

Indian phosphate buyers pause on high Chinese offers, ample stocks

By Sylvia Traganida 16-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)--The phosphates market did not see much activity globally this week as demand is muted.

Chinese producers returned to the market following their Golden Week holiday and started offering diammonium phosphate (DAP) at higher levels. At the moment export offers are firm, but Indian buyers are reluctant to agree to business at these levels. There is some demand in Vietnam for small DAP lots, and Australian demand is increasing for Q4.

Japan's JERA to shut all inefficient coal power plants by 2030

By Richard Ewing 14-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Japan's largest power generator JERA on Tuesday unveiled plans to shut all inefficient coal-fired plants by 2030 and use “greener” fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen in its various thermal power plants.

Thermal power generation using fossil fuels accounts for about 80% of Japan's electricity demand, but about 40% of its total CO2 emissions, JERA said.

Ammonia prices stable amid fairly muted spot business

By Richard Ewing 9-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)--The international ammonia market was relatively quiet in the first week of the final quarter, with prices stable on both sides of the Suez amid limited spot activity.

The restart of export-oriented plants in Indonesia appears to have brought some balance to the market for buyers in Asia-Pacific after a short-term supply squeeze.

Indian urea import tender sees bumper participation

By Deepika Thapliyal 9-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Indian state-run fertilizer importer Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCF) today received 16 offers for a total of 3.6m tonnes of prilled and granular urea in its tender.

The number is significantly higher than the previous tender at end August when MMTC Limited received 13 offers for a total of 2.3m tonnes.

Iran's economy set for deeper contraction amid US sanctions, pandemic

Iran’s economy is being battered by heightened US sanctions that constrain oil production and exports, and rising levels of coronavirus infections in the country, with GDP expected to shrink for the third consecutive year.

For the fiscal year ending 20 March 2021, the forecast GDP decline could be as steep as 8.5%, before reversing to a 2.7% growth in the following year, according to Spain-based research firm FocusEconomics.

Ukraine's Naftogaz seeks to expand regionally, internally - commercial director

By Aura Sabadus 8-Nov-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Ukraine’s incumbent Naftogaz could become an important regional market participant as it is already expanding its activities across multiple sectors domestically, the company’s director of commercial division told ICIS in an interview.

Willem Coppoolse said the company intends to expand its trading relations with central and eastern European neighbours as well as Austria.

Daewoo's design for ammonia-fuelled ship wins approval from Lloyd's 

By Richard Ewing 6-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)--South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering  revealed it had won Approval in Principle (AiP) from UK-based vessel classification agency Lloyd's Register for an ammonia-powered “super-large container ship”.

The company’s joint development project with Lloyds Marine and engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions for a 23,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) capacity vessel is scheduled for commercialisation in 2025.

Hurricane Delta strengthens, expected to enter US Gulf on Wednesday

By Yanelli 6-Oct-20 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Hurricane Delta has strengthened to a powerful category 4 storm, threatening oil and gas production in the US Gulf and petrochemical production along the northern US Gulf Coast.

Meteorologists with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Tuesday that Delta is likely to bring storm surge and hurricane-force winds to the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi beginning on Friday.

Global Fertilizer Trade Flow Map

ICIS is excited to announce the launch and production of the Global Fertilizer Trade Flow Map in partnership with the International Fertilizer Association (IFA).

The map provides a geographical picture of the trade flows of fertilizer products between the major producing and importing countries in the world, as well as production and consumption data.

The Fertilizer Trade Flow Map provides:

  • The world’s major producing countries of fertilizers and raw materials
  • The main fertilizer consuming countries
  • Trends in prices for ammonia, diammonium phosphate (DAP), muriate of potash (MOP), urea, sulphur, sulphuric acid and natural gas

Click here to download the map for free.