The ammonia markets are covered by ICIS weekly in the global The Market report as well as regionally in the US and in a combined Europe and Asia report. Our reliable and trustworthy publications provide you with an up-to-date overview of market activity gathered by our locally based reporters. In the US, spot prices are quoted in New Orleans and Tampa, while the Europe and Asia publication gives assessments for northwest Europe, north Africa, Yuzhny, Taiwan, South Korea and India. Our news and analysis give the reader information that allows business decisions to be made with confidence.
The commentary includes demand and supply trends, production news, shipping enquiries, regional activity and any other key factors influencing market prices at the time. There is also a monthly price forecast and analysis global publication, Outlook Ammonia.
ICIS Ammonia Overview Transcript
Ammonia is a raw material for the fertilizer and industrial sectors. Production is through a chemical reaction using natural gas, and as a result, the main production regions are areas that have abundant supplies of natural gas including Russia, Ukraine, North Africa, Middle East, the Caribbean and Indonesia.
The main downstream applications for ammonia are in the fertilizer sector. Ammonia can be applied directly to crops or also used in the production of urea, phosphates, ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate.
Ammonia can also be used as a raw material for some chemicals including caprolactam and acrylonitrile.
The main price drivers for ammonia are in the fertilizer sector, seasonal fertilizer demand, fertilizer prices and also crop prices.
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Upstream of Ammonia
Downstream of Ammonia
Ammonia: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2017
Global ammonia prices are expected to continue their late 2016 upward trajectory throughout the first quarter of 2017 due to the severe supply squeeze in Yuzhny that badly disrupted January loadings.
Until that deadlock between Russian producer Togliatti and a Ukrainian pipeline operator is resolved, the market West of Suez should remain tight as major supplier Ameropa will be required to find 70,000 tonnes/month from alternative sources that could include Algeria and Turkey.
In addition, natural gas curtailments in Trinidad will continue to hamper operators' efforts to maximise output for markets like the US, Morocco, Chile and Mexico.
East of Suez, Arabian Gulf FOB prices are likely to edge above $250/tonne for February loadings given last January business was $241/tonne and that players like Ameropa and Trammo are having to cast their net farther to secure material for European and North African customers.
Higher prices will, in turn, be seen in India, Korea and Taiwan CFR prices – although seasonal factors and scheduled plant shutdowns mean spot buyers are unlikely to face too much competition over the next few weeks, meaning Asia Pacific prices are unlikely to rise rapidly.
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Ammonia news & analysis
ICIS launches Global Ammonia Markets General Methodology Consultation more >>
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Ammonia, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Ammonia is a colourless, highly water-soluble gas with an intense, pungent, suffocating odour. It is alkaline and caustic, corrosive to copper and galvanised surfaces and is a powerful irritant. It is soluble in chloroform, ether and is easily liquefied under pressure. Liquid ammonia will attack some forms of plastics, rubber, and coatings.
Ammonia's major use is as a nitrogen source in fertilisers where it is both applied directly and used to produce derivatives including ammonium nitrate, urea, ammonium phosphates and ammonium sulphate.
Urea plants are integrated with ammonia production as they require the carbon dioxide by-product from ammonia units.
Ammonia also has a number of industrial end uses. Ammonium nitrate is used to make explosives while the medical grade is decomposed to nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Ammonium bicarbonate has applications in baking powder formulations, in fire extinguishers and as a blowing agent in the manufacture of polymers.
Ammonia is used in the production of hexamethylene diamine (HMDA) for nylon, acrylonitrile (ACN) for fibres and plastics, caprolactam for nylon, isocyanates for polyurethanes, and hydrazine.
Other uses for ammonia include as a refrigerant, a cleaning and bleaching agent, and a household cleaner. It is also used in metal treating operations.
Upstream of Ammonia
Downstream of Ammonia