Fertilizer Market Report – June 21, 2023

EU Import Duties Take Effect Again on Ammonia, Urea

Urea and ammonia import duties came back into effect on 17 June, after a six-month suspension. But a key report by the European Commission on the impact of the suspension remains pending, meaning that the EU could seek to suspend duties again.


(Source: Argus Media)

North America Urea Last Week

According to Green Markets, Urea pricing in Western Canada dropped to C$530-C$535/mt FOB and C$545-C$700/mt DEL, depending on location and time of shipment, down significantly from the prior C$670-C$730/mt FOB and C$720-C$760/mt DEL ranges.

NOLA urea prices remained under pressure, though prompt, loaded barges continued to garner a premium. Prompt NOLA barges firmed to a high of US$320/st FOB on June 15, up from US$285-$295/st FOB earlier in the week. Full June business was reported at the US$280/st FOB mark, with July barges reported in the US$245-US$270/st FOB range and August at US$265-US$270/st FOB.

North America Phosphate Last Week

The MAP market in Western Canada was quoted at C$850-C$860/mt FOB for June offers following a post-spring reset, down significantly from the prior C$1,150-C$1,200/mt FOB level.

“Offers seem to be slow on summer fill, with the system empty and producers willing to play it slow,” commented one regional source.

Players noted falling prices in the NOLA DAP barge market, while MAP barges held their value.

DAP barges were reported at a US$440-US$445/st FOB low for June and July loading, softening from the week-ago US$449.50/st FOB floor.

Sources put DAP bids at US$420-US$435/st FOB on June 14-15, while June DAP paper values were indicated in a US$450-US$470/st FOB range. Paper trading was noted at US$410-US$435/st FOB for September.

MAP prices were quoted at a US$450/st FOB floor for imported tons, unchanged from last report, while domestic MAP changed hands at US$470/st FOB early in the June 9-15 trading week, even with the week-ago top.

The NOLA DAP barge market was reported at US$440-US$445/st FOB, falling from US$449.50-US$462/st FOB in the prior report. Players quoted MAP barges in a US$450-US$470/st FOB range, unchanged from one week earlier.

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


The Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd. (RCF) tender left many in the industry disappointed. A number of traders had predicted prices landing around US$275/mt CFR. Instead, the low price for East Coast deliveries came in at US$284.90/mt CFR, and US$279.70/mt CFR for the West Coast. The prices are about US$50/mt lower than India’s previous urea tender, held by Indian Potash Ltd. (IPL) in March.

Soon after the prices were released, sources reported rumors that RCF would try to take more than the 800,000 mt indicated in the tender documents. However, sources said the short shipping period, with a deadline of July 17, will limit the ability to load vessels in time. At the same time, Chinese export warehouses were said to have only 86,000 mt available. Traders were unsure whether the export clearing process could be concluded in time to allow for multiple cargoes to ship from China within that window.

Middle East

The estimated netback from the RCF/India tender was put at US$265-US$270/mt FOB, with the lower end of the range representing limited or no margins for traders. This is about US$10/mt below the last public business out of the area. Sources expect to see a great deal of Arab Gulf urea used to cover awards in the tender.


Imports were noted softening to US$275-US$280/mt CFR. Bidding was reported as low as the US$260s/mt CFR.

While aggressive buyers continue to try pushing the landed price down, sources noted the potential for higher prices out of North Africa due to rising natural gas prices to producers. They also pointed to limited urea availability out of China, at least until international prices rebound to much higher levels.


The estimated netback to China from the RCF/India tender was put at US$270/mt FOB. Unfortunately for anyone hoping to use Chinese urea to cover an award into that tender, Chinese producers were reported successfully selling cargoes at higher prices to regional buyers. In addition, sources put the break-even price for urea production for many producers around the US$270/mt FOB mark.

Industry Tidbits