Ammonia Prices Remain Plunge Amidst a Pessimistic Market Outlook
- 27-Mar-2023 3:48 PM
- Journalist: Nicholas Seifield
New Orleans: The price of Ammonia continued its downward trend, falling by about USD 70/MT in the Middle East and by USD 75/MT in the Far East due to Asia's essentially non-existent need for Ammonia. Although some buying was stimulated by the lower prices, the Ammonia market is still severely oversupplied, and prices have continued to fall until supply and demand are in balance. As Ammonia market prices declined recently, Chinese importers are showing interest and beginning to purchase some cargoes.
With the Mississippi River system now open and all imports carried to New Orleans (the Mississippi River system's entry point) over the Northern Hemisphere winter now beginning to be distributed into the US interior, the domestic season in the US is officially in full swing. There is not going to be much demand for additional spot cargoes in the US due to the high stock levels and the numerous Urea shipments that are already scheduled to arrive in New Orleans. The recent declines in fertilizer futures have not helped to increase expectations for Ammonia demand either.
The spread between feedstock Ammonia and downstream Urea is starting to look better. Furthermore, the downstream producers of Ammonium Nitrate, whose manufacturing costs are determined by the Ammonia price and whose selling price is influenced by the Urea price, are expecting a positive market sentiment. Although the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere has been underwhelming, and since contract shipments will likely meet the majority of the remaining demand, spot traders are unable to locate any opportunities. In addition, freight rates on most routes have risen again and continue to lower net profits and traders' bids for new goods. Anhydrous Ammonia CFR Tampa (US) prices were assessed at USD 558/MT on 24th March.
According to ChemAnalyst, springtime demand in the US and Europe could provide some unforeseen assistance in the coming weeks. China's exports may rise the next month, which would cause global prices to decrease once more. Although imports into Brazil are anticipated to increase in the upcoming month, Ammonia prices are anticipated to stay low.