Fertilizer Market Report – July 5, 2023

Announcement from India on Urea Subsidies is News of the Week

The Indian government announced a new three-year plan for urea subsidies, one that is separate from the Nutrition Based Subsidy system that governs other fertilizers. The plan calls for the government to set aside a total of US$45 billion for urea subsidies and incentives. The primary goals, the government said in a June 28 statement, are to ensure that farmers do not pay more than the current INR 242/45 kg bag (US$65/mt) and to reduce demand for imported urea.

Additionally, a plan to put new or refurbished production facilities into operation by financial year 2025-2026 is already paying off, the government said. Domestic production has increased from 22.5 million mt during Fiscal Year 2014-2015 to 28.4 million mt in 2022-2023.

As India moves toward being self sufficient in urea, trade routes will once again need to be retraced. This will likely increase global supply of urea and put pressure on prices.


North American Urea Prices for First Six Months of 2023 Show Significant Year-Over-Year Declines

Urea Western Canada DEL prices experienced a 16% week-over-week decrease in the third week of June 2023, bringing the average price for the month down 31% year over year. The average price for the first half of 2023 fell by 37% versus first half 2022.

Urea NOLA prices were down in the first, second and third weeks of June 2023, bringing the average price for the month down 37% year over year. The average price for the first half of 2023 fell by 46% versus the first half of 2022.

It still may not be the right time to buy urea in Western Canada as we have not seen that strong demand signal at NOLA to recommend a long position here.

North America Urea Last Week

According to Green Markets, Urea pricing in Western Canada dropped was flat week over week at C$545/mt – C$700/mt.

The NOLA urea market tightened to US$285-US$315/st FOB for June-July tons, compared with last week’s broad US$275-US$330/st range. Most July trades were quoted around the US$290/st FOB level, with prompt June business reported at both the high and low end of the range “on very limited trade.”

Sources said the demand for prompt, loaded barges is eroding, as is the price premium that contributed to a very wide range in recent weeks.

North America Phosphate Last Week

The MAP market in Western Canada was quoted at C$1,115-C$1,150 DEL for June which was, once-again, flat week-over-week. There was limited activity in MAP in Western Canada last week.

Sources noted firming NOLA DAP and MAP values.

Imported DAP barges lifted to US$445/st FOB from the prior US$442/st FOB floor, while domestically produced tons built on their week-ago US$455/st FOB high, edging to US$457/st FOB for loading in first-half July. Offers for domestic tons were quoted at US$460/st FOB for July and August loading on June 28, while import offers continued to be heard at US$445/st FOB late in the week.

Sources noted tight availability and minimal trading for prompt and nearby MAP barges, leaving the market’s most recent trades and offers in a reported US$465-US$475/st FOB range, above the prior US$460/st FOB low. Players noted significant volumes of September MAP trading at US$485/st FOB, while limited offers for barges loading in July and August were heard at US$478-US$480/st FOB.

Offers for Russian MAP rumored in a US$460-US$465/st FOB range went unconfirmed on June 29. Some expected thin Russian supply due to potential looming increases in countervailing duty rates.

NOLA DAP barges lifted to a US$445-US$457/st FOB range, up from US$442-US$455/st FOB reported previously. Recent MAP pricing tracked at a general US$465-US$475/st FOB, sources said, above US$460-US$475/st FOB in the prior report.

Green Markets Global Macro Comments – Indian Tender Takes Center Stage Again


Sources reported that the last of the tons booked under the RCF tender had been secured and the vessels nominated. As the week progressed, sources said at least one trader was still looking for product to fulfill its award. The traders were facing a rapidly approaching shipping deadline of July 17.

Sources had speculated that once the last of the awarded tons from the RCF tender had vessels nominated, the clock would start ticking for another tender call. The late-week report that all 560,000 mt now have vessels nominated could push up the tender call speculation. However, sources said the most likely time was still around July 15.

Middle East

International traders said Arab Gulf suppliers were taking longer to return calls – if they did at all – to discuss July and August shipments. Part of the delay in getting calls returned was the Hajj holiday, which allowed many offices to be vacant or short staffed. Another reason was the Arab Gulf producers were comfortable for the first half of July, with some fully booked through the whole month. In the end, however, one deal did go through that moved the market.


Prices moved up to US$315-US$330/mt CFR. Trade discussions at the beginning of the week indicated values moving as high as US$350/mt FOB, but after some back and forth, deals were settled at US$330/mt CFR. Prices are expected to move up, however. Demand appears to be strong, while limited tonnage is being offered.

Sources said there was still time for farmers to finish up their urea purchases for the Safrinha season. More are expected to step up now that a price floor appears to have been reached and prices are moving upward.


Sources put the current export price at US$305-US$310/mt FOB for both prilled and granular urea. While some August offers were said to come in below US$300/mt FOB, anyone looking for early-July shipments was either rebuffed or offered much higher prices that are unworkable in the current market.

Industry Tidbits