Western Canadian Urea Pricing Down 10% Week-Over-Week; MAP Prices Also Weak


North America Urea Last Two Weeks

Urea pricing in Western Canada last week was quoted in a broad C$665-C$730/mt DEL range for March-April tons, according to Green Markets. This was down from previous C$745-C$800/mt DEL range. The terminal market slipped to C$640-C$720/mt FOB, depending on location and supplier, well below the prior C$750-C$820/mt FOB range.

Late this week we heard Western Canadian urea prices of C$735 delivered Southern SK and a C$700 FOB near Regina.

According to Green Markets, last week started with word that urea NOLA barges were trading at US$330-US$335/st FOB. By the week’s end, however, trading was put in the US$310-US$335/st FOB range, the same as the previous week.

Early this week, NOLA urea was quoted at US$290-US$305/st FOB in early-week trading, down from last week’s US$310-US$335/st FOB, with the low reported early on March 8. New business at the US$295/st and US$305/st FOB levels was reportedly concluded on March 7.

Urea NOLA trades below US$300/st were last seen in January 2021.

North America Phosphate Last Two Weeks

Last week, MAP prices in Western Canada were pegged at C$1,060-C$1,070/mt DEL, down C$15-C$25/mt from early February. Warehouse pricing was quoted at C$1,080-C$1,100/mt FOB, depending on location, reflecting a C$20/mt drop from last report.

Last week, players noted softening values in the NOLA DAP and MAP barge markets, according to Green Markets. MAP pricing was off, with sources noting the low side of the range dropping US$10/st week-over-week, to US$555/st FOB from US$565/st FOB. Sources continued to put the top of the market unchanged from the prior US$575/st FOB.

Early this week, NOLA DAP and MAP prices continued to show weakness.

Green Markets Global Macro Comments


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

Sources said the final amount would be dramatically lower than the last tender price of US$573-US$579/mt CFR, which closed on Nov. 14, 2022.

In the run up to the closing of the tender from Indian Potash Limited (IPL), sources speculated about where prices will end up, with a low of US$320/mt CFR to a high of US$360/mt CFR.

In the tender documents, IPL called for 1 million mt. As the tender closing date approached, more sources were predicting as many as 2 million mt could be secured. The long shipping period that ends June 1 will allow for traders to secure material over the three months without overheating the market.

In the end, IPL held to its statement of buying only 1.1 million mt in its recent tender. The buyer will receive 575,000 mt to West Coast ports at US$330/mt CFR from three traders. Deliveries to East Coast ports will total 525,000 mt at US$334.80/mt CFR from five traders.

The prices reflect a drop of about US$240/mt from the last urea tender, but are in line with estimates of where pricing should be in the Arab Gulf.


Last week urea prices widened to US$345-US$360/mt CFR as the industry awaited news from the Indian tender. The Rondonopolis price tightened to US$560-US$565/mt FOB ex-warehouse. Low demand for urea is providing a steady downward push on prices, both at the ports and inland.

Industry Tidbits

  • Tampa ammonia price remains under pressure, with sources anticipating another drop for April after the US$200/mt plunge for March, to US$590/mt CFR from February’s US$790/mt CFR. Lower natural gas prices continue to be cited.
  • As long as commodity prices stay strong, fertilizer prices will too, according to an economist with a fertilizer company. In a DTN Ag Summit series presentation last week, Andy Jung, chief economist for Mosaic, said he saw a positive outlook for agriculture as farmers across the world have incentives to grow more crops and thus apply fertilizer.
  • After record-high fertilizer prices in recent years, the global fertilizer industry could be entering a new era, industry experts said at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum last week. But even though prices have fallen from record highs, elevated fertilizer prices would still have an effect on farmers across the globe.
  • Laura Cross, director of market intelligence for the International Fertilizer Association, said in a presentation at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum that the world fertilizer market was at a crossroads right now.
  • “Global fertilizer production is expected to increase in 2023 with urea capacity up 2% and phosphorus production 7% higher,” Cross said. “Potash production is expected to fall about 14%, but it would only be about a 5% drop compared to 2019.”
  • The Canadian crop input market (fertilizer, chemical, seed, and fuel) is projected to have grown 26.1% in 2022, reaching an estimated record C$21.8 billion in sales. Most of this growth was driven by increases in fertilizer and fuel prices stemming from global supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine. We are projecting a further 5.9% increase in 2023 to $23.1 billion. Overall, the demand for crop inputs remains robust, supported by strong farm cash receipts, even if commodity prices soften from peak levels.The 2023 crop will be the most expensive ever planted.