Fertilizer Market Report – June 14, 2023

Global Trade Patterns Continue to Impact Fertilizer Market

An interview with Corey Rosenbusch, President and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), published by Feed & Grain, interestingly came to the conclusion that global trade patterns still have to shift to normalize global fertilizer trade.

As the industry is currently structured, 60% of all fertilizer ton miles are moved by rail shipments and every ton of fertilizer touches a truck at some point.

On the rail side, services have been a real challenge for the industry.

About a third of the fertilizer in the US will use the inland waterway system.

The critical issue that the TFI considers is fertilizer is a globally traded commodity, just like grain and other crops.  And what China, the largest producer of fertilizer, does with its fertilizer impacts farmers here in North America. Sanctions placed on Russia and Belarus made a huge impact on global supply.



Indian Imports of Urea are Down Versus Last Year and the Historical Average

India’s urea tender for 800,000 mt closed on Monday and attracted 19 offers for a total 2.519 million mt. Prices weren’t yet disclosed. In India’s 2022-23 fiscal year (April – March), the world’s largest importer spent US$5.3 billion to import 8.5 million tonnes, an 18.5% drop from the US$6.5 billion spent in the prior year for 10.2 million tonnes. Availability from Indonesia is limited, with some sources reporting the government ordered an export halt. Indonesian urea exports are down 41% through April. Chinese port inventory is 76,000 mt, down from the 168,000 mt February peak.

Decreasing Indian urea imports will not help support global urea prices.

North America Urea Last Week

According to Green Markets, urea pricing in Western Canada was quoted C$720-C$760/mt DEL, depending on location and time of shipment which is flat to the previous week’s reported prices.

NOLA urea barge values remained under pressure. Prompt, loaded barges reportedly firmed from US$310/st FOB early in the week to US$330-US$340/st FOB by midweek, only to fall to a reported US$280/st FOB level on June 8. Full-June was generally pegged in the US$260-US$280/st FOB range for the week, with reports of 3Q offers in the mid-US$270s/st FOB.

North America Phosphate Last Week

Western Canada MAP DEL prices were flat to last week in a range of C$1,115-C$1,150/mt.

NOLA barge DAP values softened from week-ago levels, while MAP barges held firm.

Traders described nearby DAP barge trades concluding at a US$500/st FOB low for imported tons, while barges loading June through the third quarter were heard trading as high as US$452.50/st FOB. Public offers reported edging to US$449.50/st FOB on June 8 were met with US$445/st FOB bids, sources said.

Domestically-produced DAP was quoted changing hands at US$462/st FOB for full-June, below last week’s US$500/st FOB high, while pricing for loaded barges was rumored up to US$500/st FOB and as low as US$445/st FOB went unconfirmed on June 8.

Domestic MAP barges traded at US$470/st FOB, sources said, unchanged from the week-ago top, while players continued to note price ideas for imported material even with last week’s US$450/st FOB level. Expectations of increased countervailing duties on MAP cargoes shipped by some Russian producers continued to fuel rumors of US Gulf-bound cargoes being diverted to Brazil.

Domestic producers noted indications for NOLA DAP and MAP barges at US$500/st FOB “for remaining June and July” availability.

Based on reported trades and offers, DAP barges pushed to US$449.50-US$462/st FOB from the prior US$450-US$500/st FOB. NOLA MAP pricing was called US$450-US$470/st FOB, unchanged from the prior week.

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


Offers in the RCF urea tender that closed June 12 showed 19 companies offering 2,519,300 mt. West Coast offers of 1,372,150 mt surpassed East Coast offers of 1,057,150. One offer from Oman’s OQ came in on an FOB basis of 90,000 mt. The tonnage offered was less than expected. Sources hold to pricing expectations in the mid-US$270s/mt CFR.

Immediately after the tender was announced last week, sources speculated that Chinese urea might dominate the tender, especially after two sales to Southeast Asian buyers dropped the price from China into the US$270s/mt FOB. However, Chinese prices have since rebounded, leaving sources to speculate that no more than four cargoes might come from China. Expectations are now that the bulk of the offered product will come from Arab Gulf producers and Russia.

Initial reports from the RCF/India urea tender showed a price drop of about US$50/mt. Samsung is said to have presented the lowest offer for West Coast deliveries at US$279/mt CFR. Sun International reportedly has the lowest offer for East Coast ports at US$284.90/mt CFR. The last tender showed prices at US$330-US$334.80/mt CFR.

Middle East

The market has gone quiet as producers and traders calculate their offers into the RCF/India tender. Sources said producers have been willing to entertain prices at US$275-US$280/mt FOB. However, if current predictions for the tender’s final price come to fruition, the producers will have to shave off at least another US$20/mt.


The call for an Indian tender did not excite the Brazilian market. Sources indicated the limited tonnage sought by RCF was not enough to reverse the steady drop in pricing. The landed price of urea came off slightly to US$280-US$290/mt CFR, while sources described new bids closer to US$260/mt CFR.


Prices bounced back into the US$300s/mt FOB. The granular price was put at US$310-US$330/mt FOB. The rebound came after a couple of recent deals to Southeast Asian buyers prompted a dip into the US$270s/mt FOB for prills, and near US$300/mt FOB for granular.

Producers were said to react to reports that the lower prices would fall by at least another US$20/mt in order to allow Chinese product to be competitive in the RCF/India tender. However, sources said the producers also saw that some regional buyers were interested in prompt shipments of small cargoes – mostly under 10,000 mt – and at higher prices. As a result, the producers not only moved up their pricing ideas, but also made it clear they would not entertain any bids that go below US$300/mt FOB.

One trader speculated that one or two producers might break ranks to offer material in the Indian tender. At best, however, sources said that China will only supply 150,000-160,000 mt instead of the 500,000 mt discussed immediately after the tender was called.

Industry Tidbits