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Updated to Q4 2017
The lengthy shutdown of the SAFCO IV ammonia plant in Saudi Arabia from late September saw little spot availability east of Suez in Q4, with the tight supply situation reflected in higher prices in Korea, Taiwan and India. Prices in Asia Pacific jumped by around $100/tonne during the quarter - from $270/tonne CFR to $370/tonne CFR - although spot sales were seen in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Leading ammonia buyers in Korea and Taiwan were more focused on contract negotiations for 2018, rather than spot business for delivery in late 2017. Plant turnarounds at downstream operations in both countries also capped demand for non-contract material. However, buyers in China did secure several spot cargoes, meaning volumes were secured for ports including Caojing and Zhanjiang.
Updated to Q4 2017
Ammonia prices experienced a strong upward trajectory in late 2017 as planned and unplanned plant shutdowns in the Netherlands, Algeria and Saudi Arabia squeezed supply. Traders were forced to look farther afield for material in order to fulfil contract and spot deliveries, with the supply squeeze reflected in the higher prices paid by end users. Despite the shortage of volume, two potential Saudi spot cargoes went unsold due to aggressive producer price targets.
Spot demand by end users was relatively stable in October to December, with major buyers in Korea and Taiwan focused on contract talks for 2018 cargoes, rather than any prompt spot business. OCI was forced into the spot market several times due to an unscheduled shutdown of one of its 550,000 tonne/year plants at Geleen, Netherlands. Meanwhile, Yara and Trammo were active in the Mediterranean and North Africa, while Mitsubishi secured several US spot cargoes from CF Industries for discharge in Asia Pacific.
Updated to Q2 2015
The domestic ammonium phosphate market received support from the export market from April to June, as the low demand season continued.
Export demand offset the end of the domestic demand season in April, which tempered the fall in domestic prices. In May, large-volume export orders pushed up granular monoammonium phosphate (MAP) export prices from $355/tonne FOB to above $370/tonne FOB. Selling ideas for large and medium-sized diammonium phosphate (DAP) producers firmed at $465/tonne FOB. In addition, the cancellation of favourable electricity prices for fertilizer producers lifted production costs, which gave the incentive for ammonium phosphate producers to firm their prices. However, from mid-to-late June, limited new orders for DAP slightly pulled down discussion levels. Export prices of some small and medium-sized DAP producers were no higher than $465/tonne FOB. Domestic MAP prices were largely stable on modest demand from the compound fertilizer producers as the autumn purchase season arrived earlier.
Supply tightened slightly as many ammonium phosphate producers conducted maintenance in April-May and this also supported the domestic market. The next turnaround season will arrive in October-November before the peak winter buying period.
At the end of June, most ammonium phosphate producers said that the market would unlikely regain steam in the near term. However, most of them have received enough orders for production until the end of July to prepare for the autumn buying starting from mid-August. Hence, they are mostly expecting prices to remain largely flat, with little downside potential.
ICIS reports on ammonia on a global basis, with reports in Europe, Asia and the US. At the same time, we are able to draw on global resources in London, Houston (Texas), Singapore and Shanghai.
In Europe, we report on the key benchmark using the free on board (FOB) Yuzhny spot price and also include cost & freight (CFR) prices for north Africa and northwest Europe (NWE).
In the Asia section, we have CFR prices for India, Taiwan and Korea. Throughout the week, we speak to a wide range of people – including producers, consumers and traders – in order to obtain a broad range of accurate information for our subscribers. All of our reporting is backed up by a strong methodology.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Ammonia. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enables you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
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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.
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