Global fertilizers prices unfazed by quiet markets as key players step away for Eid

Author: Sabrin Jama


LONDON (ICIS)--Global fertilizer markets have been quieter this week, particularly for sulphur and ammonia as the market in key countries was muted due to the Eid al-Adha holiday.

The focus in many parts of the world is harvest and holidays, hence buying interest is muted from some key importing hubs as their economies practically go idle for the celebration.

With many producers and suppliers out of the office, only a few spot deals were quoted in the global ammonia market this week.

More than 1.5bn Muslims around the world observe Eid al-Adha, or Festival of the Sacrifice, the holiest festival in Islam; in most countries, the celebrations have ended by Friday.

Global fertilizers trades should pick up from next week as most market participants return to work; the impending settlement of the Tampa contract for August should also help spur new business.

Similarly, the sulphur market was slow, although Arabian Gulf producers are expected to release August posted prices at the end of the month.

Across the urea market, the focus was once again on India, with activity low in all other markets as buyers await news from the tender.

Early estimates are of the lowest offer likely being at $509/tonne CFR  (cost and freight) for the east coast, and $515/tonne CFR for the west.

As supply, particularly in China, remains tight, India may receive limited tonnes once more.

In general, the market is bullish as supply remains tight globally on increased demand from India as well China's limited supply.

For the next Indian tender, the scenario is likely to remain unchanged.

Activity across the phosphates market has also slowed, but global prices remain high.

Prices have risen as a result of Chinese diammonium phosphate (DAP) negotiations with India and Pakistan.

Export supply from China is likewise limited as domestic demand for the product has increased.

Due to downstream demand, monoammonium phosphate (MAP) is also in short supply.

Despite a decrease in trading, global prices for muriate of potash (MOP) fertiliser market remain firm, with sources quoting higher offers for both regular and granular-grade MOP coming out of Asia.

Pictured above: Palestinians gather for prayer in the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City on 20 July
Picture source: Mahmoud Illean/AP/Shutter

Focus article by Sabrin Jama