Western Canadian Urea Pricing Fell Significantly Early This Week


North America Urea Last Two Weeks

Urea delivered Western Canada prices last week moved sideways for the third week in a row in the range of C$745 and C$800/mt.

However, early this week urea pricing in Western Canada was quoted down to C$665-$670/mt DEL and C$640-C$720/mt FOB for recent offers, depending on location, down from the previous C$745-C$800/mt DEL and C$750-C$820/mt FOB ranges.

Looking at the progression of urea delivered prices for Western Canada for the months of January and February, we notice that January prices dropped 26% year-over-year while February fell 36% YoY. It appears the percentage decline could be even higher as we enter March.

According to Green Markets, NOLA urea trades were in the US$310-US$335/st FOB range last week, up from the week-ago US$302-US$325/st FOB.

Early this week, NOLA urea was reported to be trading at US$315-US$335/st FOB, with prices starting at the higher end. If this range holds, it will represent an increase from the week-ago US$310-US$335/st FOB.

North America Phosphate Last Two Weeks

Last week, MAP prices in Western Canada were flat at C$1,075-C$1,095/mt for the third week in a row.

Early this week, MAP in Western Canada was pegged at C$1,060-1,070/mt DEL, down C$15-C$25/mt from last week. Warehouse pricing was reported at C$1,080-C$1,120/mt FOB in the region, depending on location, reflecting a C$20/mt drop at the low end of range.

Last week, NOLA DAP and MAP barges pressed higher from week-ago levels, according to Green Markets.

Sources described MAP barges changing hands “multiple” times at US$565/st FOB for prompt shipment, even with the week-ago top. Players put prices as high as US$575/st FOB.

Sources attributed the firming market to a number of factors, including the start of barge releases from NOLA for destinations on the upper Mississippi River. With upper-river locks shut for the winter navigation season tentatively projected to fully reopen by April 1, barges were expected to begin releasing from NOLA in the second half of February. A reduction in the number of lower-price import offers in the market, previously said to weigh on price levels, also played a factor, sources indicated.

Green Markets Global Macro Comments


The long-awaited urea tender call finally came from Indian Potash Limited (IPL). The closing date is March 3, with the buyer calling for 1 million mt and a shipping deadline of June 1.

Industry watchers had been expecting a shipping period longer than the usual six weeks, but most were surprised by the 12-week time frame. Sources said the longer shipping window would help prevent the urea market from overheating as trading houses scramble to gather tons to offer to India. It is also expected to allow for purchase deals to be spread out over the three-month period instead of being concentrated.

The longer shipping time could also allow for more Chinese product to play a role in the tender.

No matter the price, the final amount is likely to be dramatically lower than the last tender price of US$573-US$579/mt CFR, which closed on Nov. 14, 2022.


Carnival celebrations cut into the workdays last week, leaving just a few days for trading. Even with the short week, sources reported a large upward shift in the urea market. Deals rumored at US$360/mt CFR came on the heels of sales at US$350/mt CFR. By the end of the week, new offers were reported at US$370/mt CFR, but without any confirmed business at that level.

This week, Brazil urea slipped to US$345-US$360/mt CFR from last week’s US$350-US$360/mt, but the market was at a standstill as players await news of the prices and volumes offered in the latest India tender.

Industry Tidbits

  • On Feb. 16, The Western Producer reported that Farm Credit Canada (FCC) forecasts an increase in farm cash receipts for 2022 and 2023, an infusion that should help offset rising input costs. FCC predicts national farm cash receipts for 2022 will be buoyed by a 14% bump, followed by a less robust but positive 4.6% increase in 2023. FCC expects farm cash receipts to hit nearly C$95.5 billion in 2022 and C$98.8 billion in 2023.
  • On Feb. 23, Gensource Potash Corporation (AIM/TSXV: GSP), a Canadian fertilizer development company focused on sustainable potash production, announced a new business relationship with and direct strategic investment by Nekaneet First Nation (“Nekaneet”), an indigenous local government in Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan. The deal will help Nekaneet reap the benefits of the developments being made in the community.
  • As the market expected, Tampa ammonia declined 25% to US$590/(mt) cost and freight (CFR) for March.
  • “Mosaic delivered record results in 2022, and we expect favorable agricultural markets to continue in 2023,” said Joc O’Rourke, President and CEO. 
  • BHP Group Ltd. said it has accelerated the feasibility study for Stage 2 of its Jansen potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, 140 km east of Saskatoon, with the study now to be completed during the 2024 financial year, a year earlier than previously expected.
  • American farmers will plant more corn, soybeans, and wheat this spring, with Russia’s war in Ukraine keeping crop prices high and supplies tight, USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer said at the agency’s annual Outlook Forum on Feb. 23.