Ammonia prices stable amid fairly muted spot business

Author: Richard Ewing

2020/10/09

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.

A rebound in caprolactam (capro) prices in northeast Asia may yet boost demand and see major buyers in South Korea, Taiwan and China enter the spot market.

Deals involving sales out of the Black Sea were agreed at similar prices to previous business, with no new sales confirmed out of the Middle East or into India.

Russian major Togliatti sold 23,400 tonnes to Gemlik in Turkey, while about 5,000 tonnes of Ukrainian material from Odessa Port Plant (OPZ) was acquired by Trammo at $202.50/tonne FOB (free on board) for November loading.

Major producers in Saudi Arabia are focused on contract commitments this month, with regular spot buyers like Trammo instead turning to Egypt for tonnes.

The trader loaded nearly 50,000 tonnes of material in the Red Sea for discharge in India, thought to include contract and spot volume for buyers on the west coast.

In southeast Asia, PETRONAS sold 15,000 tonnes to BASF for discharge in China on a formula-priced CFR (cost & freight) basis.

The Malaysian giant also agreed at least one FOB sale to Trammo, albeit 3,000 tonnes that was promptly discharged in the Philippines for use in phosphates production.

In a rare move, Indonesian manufacturers Kaltim and Parna Raya agreed a spot deal for 6,000 tonnes between them, with the former likely to sign a similar deal with Trammo shortly.

With several large plants in Trinidad now offline, no sales were seen out of the Caribbean, although Trammo appears to have sold a 14,000 tonne cargo of unknown origin to at least one buyer in southern Brazil.

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