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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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.

Tropical Storm Delta continues to strengthen in US Gulf

By Adam Yanelli 5-Oct-20 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Tropical Storm Delta continues to gain strength as it makes its way toward the US Gulf, and meteorologists with the National Hurricane Center expect the storm to reach hurricane strength before making landfall on the US Gulf Coast later this week.

While the exact path of the storm remains uncertain, the most recent update on Monday afternoon called for increased risks of storm surge, wind and rain from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle beginning Thursday night or Friday evening.

Source - National Hurricane Center

UK gas transmission discount removal to hit chemicals, northeast manufacturers hard

By Nigel Davis 1-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)--A change to UK gas transmission charges, effective 1 October, will hit the chemicals industry hard and dent manufacturing competitiveness, the country's chemicals trade group CIA said on Thursday.

Discounts for major gas users that have been in place for many years have been removed.

The additional cost to the chemicals industry will be around £60m, the CIA said.

Baltic contracts for October loadings of ammonia jump $23-25/tonne month on month

By Richard Ewing 1-Oct-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Scandinavian fertilizer major Yara on Thursday agreed a steep hike in its contract cargoes of Russian ammonia for loading at the Baltic ports of Sillamae and Ventspils during October.

The Oslo-headquartered group's contract cargoes from the Estonian and Lativan ports will be priced at $205-207/tonne FOB (free on board), up $23-25/tonne from September.

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.