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Updated to Q4 2017
Southeast Asian MOP supply remained tight in Q4 amid booming demand. Freight rates have climbed far beyond expectations, thanks primarily to fuel costs, and ship owners’ desire to keep their bulkers in the Atlantic, where cargoes are readily available. Towards the end of Q4, the first wave of large import tenders hit the market, with producers busily negotiating terms as 2018 approached.
Asian demand remained strong across the board, with palm oil plantations notably hungry for product throughout the quarter, in what looked set to be a bumper year for farmers. There were no signs of a reduction in demand, and if producers had been able to get MOP to ports around the region, finding a buyer would have been an easy task. However, finding a ship to transport a cargo - and volumes to fill the ship - proved difficult.
Updated to Q4 2017
Potash supply to the European market was steady throughout early Q4, before tightening ahead of the year-end as buyers stocked up ahead of the spring planting season. By the end of the quarter, producers and buyers were busy negotiating Q1 prices, with an increase widely expected by both sides.
European demand started the quarter notably limited, but as buyers across the continent began to stock up ahead of the spring planting season, an increasing number of enquiries landed on producers’ desks. However, some areas of the continent - notably France and the Benelux countries - offered a more attractive and active market for producers’ volumes, and thus received a larger share of the MOP supply in the region.
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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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