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.

Credit: Shutterstock


PODCAST: Urea price rally beats expectations

By Sylvia Traganida 20-Jan-21 LONDON (ICIS)--The international urea and nitrates market has started 2021 at a much faster pace than the industry had been expecting, with demand surging and international prices firming as a result. The global pandemic and rising gas costs are contributing to the gains, issues the industry did not face this time last year.

Listen to our industry experts talk about what is truly driving these unexpected market events across these key fertilizer markets.

Trammo and Proton Ventures sign MOU for worldwide green ammonia projects

By Richard Ewing 18-Jan-21 LONDON (ICIS)--International fertilizer trader Trammo on Monday announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Dutch engineering group Proton Ventures for joint cooperation on worldwide green ammonia projects.

As part of the alliance, Proton Ventures will construct green ammonia production units, storage facilities and import and export terminals (NFuel Projects), and will subsequently supply Trammo with material produced through wind and solar energy.

Source - Proton Ventures

US to face heavy economic losses if trade war with China continues

By Pearl Bantillo 15-Jan-21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The US economy is hurting itself if its trade war with China continues in the medium term, possibly shaving a large chunk of its GDP output with attendant massive job losses.

A further escalation of the trade war between the world's two biggest economies, would cost the US $1.6tr in economic output over the next five years and over a million jobs, according to an Oxford Economics study commissioned by the US-China Business Council (USCBC) dated January 2021.

US' CME to launch ICIS-linked China specific origins methanol futures contract in Feb

By Nurluqman Suratman 15-Jan-21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The CME Group aims to launch an ICIS-linked China methanol futures contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange on 22 February.

Listed under the commodity code CMS, the Methanol CFR (cost & freight) China Specific Origins (ICIS) Futures will have a contract size of 100 tonnes, with a minimum threshold of five contracts traded in each block transaction, subject to a 15-minute reporting window, it said in a statement.

Source - CME

Chinese urea prices higher on coronavirus-related logistical problems

By Deepika Thapliyal 14-Jan-21 LONDON (ICIS)--Prilled and granular urea prices in China have risen by 6%, or around $20/tonne, in less than a week, after the northern province of Hebei was locked down following a new cluster of coronavirus cases.

The rally in international levels is also supporting prices.

Norway's Yara sells stake in Libyan ammonia and urea producer Lifeco

By Richard Ewing 4-Jan-21 LONDON (ICIS)--Norwegian fertilizer group Yara on Monday revealed that it had divested full ownership interest in the Libyan Norwegian Fertiliser Company (Lifeco) to former partner National Oil Corporation (NOC).

Yara’s full legal ownership interest in the Marsa El-Brega manufacturer, together with all economic rights and all obligations and liabilities were transferred to state-owned NOC on 31 December.

Source - Yara

Saudi Arabia's SAFCO completes name change to SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co

By Nurluqman Suratman 1-Jan-21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Company (SAFCO) on Sunday said that it has effected its name change to the SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co.

The procedures to effect its name change in the company’s by-law and commercial register have been completed after obtaining the approval of the extraordinary general assembly on 18 November, it said in a filing to the Saudi bourse, Tadawul.

Source - SABIC

Norway's Grieg, Wärtsilä to build world's first green ammonia tanker

By Richard Ewing 18-Dec-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Plans by Norway's Grieg Edge and Wärtsilä to build the world’s first green ammonia fuelled tanker – to transport green ammonia – received the official stamp of approval and government funding on Friday.

US blacklists China, UAE companies over sale of Iran petrochemicals

By Pearl Bantillo 17-Dec-20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The US has blacklisted on Wednesday four companies based in China and the UAE for facilitating exports of Iranian petrochemicals.

Sanctions were imposed on UAE’s Alpha Tech Trading FZE and Petroliance Trading Fze; and China’s Donghai International Ship Management Ltd and Petrochem South East Ltd for facilitating sales of Iranian petrochemicals by Hong Kong-based Triliance Petrochemical, which was blacklisted in January 2020.

Russia's Togliatti says construction of third urea unit 40% complete

By Richard Ewing 15-Dec-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Russian nitrogen fertilizer major Togliattiazot (TOAZ) on Monday revealed the centrepiece of its new urea plant – a 107 metre tall granulation tower - had been installed and the project is 38% complete.

Source - TOAZ

Danes to build world’s first commercial-scale green ammonia plant

By Richard Ewing 9-Dec-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Plans for the world's first green commercial-scale ammonia plant to be built in Denmark were unveiled on Wednesday, with the Danish project's backers looking to accelerate the global transition to renewable energy.

The project has been developed by Skovgaard Invest, supported by Vestas, a sustainable energy solutions provider, and Haldor Topsoe, a leading designer of catalysts, technology, and services for the chemical and refining industries.

Rating agency lowers expectations for 2021 global GDP growth as new coronavirus cases surge

By Adam Yanelli 4-Dec-20 HOUSTON (ICIS)--A new surge of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the US and Europe - and the possible lockdown measures that could follow - drove S&P Global Ratings to lower its full year global GDP growth projection for 2021.

In a report released on Friday, the rating agency lowered its global forecast to 5.0% GDP growth for 2021 from its previous projection of 5.3%. The agency’s 2022-2023 GDP forecast was largely unchanged.

Brazil's Petrobras yet to receive formal offers for sale of nitrogen fertilizer units

By Richard Ewing 1-Dec-20 LONDON (ICIS)--Petrobras has yet to find a buyer for shuttered ammonia and urea plants run by wholly-owned subsidiary Araucária Nitrogenados SA (ANSA), bosses of the Brazilian energy major disclosed on Tuesday.

Source - Petrobras

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.