Fertilizer Market Report – January 10, 2024

Surging Container Rates, Red Sea Crisis, and Global Trade Concerns

Fertilizer Market Report 2024/01/10| In this week’s fertilizer report: India urea tender prices, rates for shipping containers from east Asia and China to the US spiked; global trade threat: Red Sea crisis unleashed; recent North American fertilizer price settlements, and industry tidbits.

News of the Week


India’s National Fertilizers Ltd. (NFL) called a urea tender which closed on January 4, 2024. The tender saw a total of 2.7 million tonnes offered with lowest prices coming in at US$329.40/mt for East Coast and US$316.80/mt for West Coast. These prices were US$75-$83/mt lower than the last tender and market expectations on pricing when this tender was announced ranged from US$310-$340/mt.

On the news of these prices into the Indian tender, Urea NOLA firmed slightly on Tuesday to US$310/st from $304 on Monday.

Egyptian Urea Market Rallies US$30/mt on Sudden Demand

The urea market in Egypt rallied suddenly and unexpectedly as traders looked to cover short sales into Turkey and Europe. This will likely support the rest of the global urea market in our view.

Escalating Asia-US Container Rates Amid Red Sea Turmoil and Shippers’ Route Shifts

Container rates between Asia and the US surged due to heightened tensions in the Red Sea. Following rebel attacks on commercial vessels, ocean carriers diverted routes, causing shipping times to extend and capacity to tighten. Rates for containers from East Asia and China to the US West Coast escalated by 63% from the prior week, while rates to the East Coast surged by 55%, as reported by Freightos, an online freight shipping marketplace and platform provider.

Global Trade Threat: Red Sea Crisis Unleashed

The Red Sea is an important thoroughfare for global fertilizer trade, and the crisis could impact shipments and thus supply in importing countries.

These freight issues worry us most for phosphate imports getting to Canada in a timely fashion for spring. If we see shipping delays, prices will likely rise. MAP delivered Western Canada has average rough C$1,050/mt since September 2023.

North America Urea Last Week

According to Green Markets, urea prices fell slightly in Western Canada to C$635-$650 FOB and C$660-$679/mt delivered. Urea fell to C$680-$725/mt from the previous low of C$710 in Eastern Canada.

NOLA urea traded at US$300-$307/st for January tons. February tons traded up to a range of US$310-$312/st up from the previous publications price of US$292-$308/st. two weeks ago.

North America Phosphate Last Week

According to Green Markets, the latest MAP offers in Western Canada were flat WoW in a range of C$1,050-$1,060/mt DEL. We are still worried about import supply issues into Western Canada. We believe that this could be reason for higher MAP prices in Eastern Canada in recent weeks.

MAP prices in Eastern Canada were up to C$985-$993/mt from the previous range of C$960-$985/mt.

MAP NOLA prices were up US$7/mt on the high end to a range of US$620-$630/mt from the previous range of US$620-$623/mt.

Industry Tidbits