Urea Prices Strengthens in North America and South America, Unlike Asia
Urea Prices Strengthens in North America and South America, Unlike Asia

Urea Prices Strengthens in North America and South America, Unlike Asia

  • 29-Jan-2024 3:36 PM
  • Journalist: Timothy Greene

During the final week of January 2024, notable developments unfolded in the Urea market, showcasing progress in the western sector while revealing a divergent trend in the Asian market. The surge in Urea prices in the North American market stemmed primarily from a low availability in essential feedstock, specifically Ammonia. Favorable weather patterns in both North America and South America played a pivotal role in revitalizing the demand for fertilizers, with Urea experiencing a notable resurgence. Conversely, a decrease in Urea exports and diminished demand in the Asian market led to a decline in prices.

A disruption in the Ammonia gas pipeline at the Bethpage ice rink, resulting from a malfunction in one of the compressors, has precipitated a shortage of Ammonia in the region. This shortage of critical raw material has exerted upward cost pressures on downstream derivatives, notably impacting Urea prices. Further, a consistent demand for Urea persisted from importing South American market, driven by the ongoing planting season for crops like Corn, Cotton, and Sorghum. The advent of torrential rain in Rio de Janeiro has initiated a relief from the protracted drought conditions prevailing within the country. Further, trade uncertainties continue to persist amidst continuous rebel attacks in the Red Sea. Maersk's decision to reroute vessels away from Red Sea routes, opting for navigation around Africa's Cape of Good Hope due to rebel attacks in the Red Sea, significantly increased tonne-miles. These strategic changes posed a multifaceted challenge for global trade, resulting in increased transportation costs. The intricate interplay of these factors reinforced an overall bullish trend in the North American Urea market.

In stark contrast, bearish sentiments characterized the Urea market in the Asian region, marked by the notable absence of key market players. China, a significant player, remains conspicuously absent from the export market, with no indications of re-entry until the conclusion of the domestic season. Meanwhile, heightened domestic production coupled with subdued domestic demand and a complete absence of exports have resulted in the accumulation of inventories. Simultaneously, the Indonesian government's decision to withhold port clearance for products already holding export licenses has impeded exports, causing a buildup of inventories at the port and subsequently contributing to a decline in domestic Urea prices.

As anticipated by ChemAnalyst, Urea market is expected to observe mixed trend in the global market. A significant surge in North American Urea prices is expected in the forthcoming months amidst shortage of essential feedstock. However, prices are expected to decline in the Asian market amidst ample availability of material in the market due to declined exports.

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