Northwest Europe ammonia-to-hydrogen production costs set new 21-month low
LONDON (ICIS)–The ICIS Northwest Europe ammonia-to-hydrogen assessment posted losses once again during week 11, dropping to the lowest assessment for the contract since the end of June 2021.
The ammonia-to-hydrogen northwest Europe assessment fell by a further €0.29/kg on a weekly basis to €5.13/kg on 16 March after having dropped by over €1.20/kg during the previous week, and now stands almost €4/kg down from the beginning of 2023.
Natural gas-based hydrogen production methods continued to fall in value, but not to the same extent as the ammonia-to-hydrogen import route, with the spread between the methods narrowing further.
Both front-month based unabated SMR and low carbon ATR hydrogen production held discounts of €1.31-1.67/kg below imported ammonia-for-hydrogen.
Market sentiment in Europe surrounding ammonia pricing remains bearish, with the market seen long and contracted cargoes continuing to arrive into the region from Egypt, Trinidad, and the US.
With the lack of demand and contracted volumes still arriving, activity on the spot market is muted, and indigenous ammonia production continues to benefit from weaker natural gas pricing on the European hubs compared to previous months.
The ICIS TTF April ’23 contract found some support during the week with strikes affecting French LNG regasification levels, leading to a heavier lean on storage withdrawals to balance the system.
Nonetheless, with stocks much healthier than 12-months previously and the Winter ’22 delivery period close to ending, gains were limited on the TTF hub.
Moreover, mild temperatures are forecast for the second half of March, which could lend itself to some pressure on the European gas hubs with the Summer ’23 contract moving closer to expiry and a large storage overhang expected.
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