For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Demand for Ammonium Sulphate linearly improved within the quarter, as farming activities remained dull initially, which later improved with improvement in weather conditions. Post the effect of freezing fallout across Texas, USA experienced snowy and rainy weather at several parts of the country, which reduced the farming activities and ultimately decreased the demand for agricultural products in the country. However, later in May and June, prices of Ammonium Sulphate improved effectively following shortage in USA. In addition, subdued domestic production and supply commitment to other countries from major manufacturers, contributed to a steep rise in prices of Ammonium Sulphate in the country. Therefore, post the effective rise, prices of Ammonium Sulphate settled at USD 372/MT for FOB Texas during the month of June.
Ammonium Sulphate prices experienced a steep rise in APAC region during Q2 2021. In China, the demand initially remained muted from major importing countries, which later improved effectively from the domestic as well as from international market with improvement in economic and farming activities in major importing countries. Chinese traders revealed that they were uncertain about the demand from Indian market during this time frame, while several European countries restrained to buy Ammonium Nitrate from China due to skyrocketing prices. On the other hand, overall demand in the Indian market remained firm, where major fertilizer manufacturers like FACT gained fine profit in despite of COVID pandemic in the country. Therefore, market achieved firm growth during this quarter and prices settled at USD 221/MT and USD 294.3/MT during June 2021.
Prices of Ammonium Sulphate in the European market remained firm during this quarter, as the demand from domestic and international market was deemed sturdy. Rise in demand in USA amidst curtailed domestic production, increased the pressure on major European manufacturers to satisfy the overall requirements. Russian manufacturers were heard running their plants on high capacity to satisfy the overall domestic and international demand. In addition, consistent rise in raw material prices also impacted the prices of upstream Ammonium Sulphate across the region.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
Ammonium Sulphate production facilities were affected by extreme cold weather during Q1 2021. Several major manufacturing units were down during this period and led to material shortage across the region, plants like PCL nitrogen and Nutrien’s Borger plant remained idle during this time period. Although the domestic demand from the agriculture sector remained low as there was extreme cold condition and most of the land were covered with the snow. Despite of this, low demand from the domestic market, firm demand from other countries and shortage supported the FOB prices to rise by 6.9% and settle around USD 310/MT in March at Texas.
The Asian market witnessed lower demand for Ammonium Sulphate from the agricultural sector but received strong export demand from the US and Europe. Low inventory levels of Chinese manufacturers after lunar holidays, pressured the average prices to rise by 10.4% and reach USD 163.6/MT in the country. Similarly, in the Indian market most of the demand was coming from US and Europe, meanwhile congestion across the trading route halted trading activity between Asia and Europe, which led to a slight rise in prices of Ammonium Sulphate in the Indian market.
The European market witnesses a stable demand for Ammonium Sulphate during Q1 especially from the agriculture sector, although the production remained affected due to shortage of feedstock across the region. Exports from other continents especially from Asia were higher than anticipated amid route congestion and container shortages across prime trading routes. These conditions led to rise in the prices of Ammonium Sulphate across the region.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
A rebound in Caprolactam price in northeast Asia eased the prices for Ammonium Sulphate in the region during the third quarter. Pent-up demand from the downstream fertilizer industry during the pandemic led to a substantial increase in the spot buyers. Encouraged by environment regulation policies, there was an upside potential in the demand of Ammonium Sulphate from those engaged in powerplant desulphurization. However, imposed travel restrictions kept the export volumes exceptionally low. The quarter ended with as new capacities of byproduct Caprolactam announced in Indonesia and Malaysia further create an oversupply situation. Price of Ammonium Sulphate was assessed around USD 123 per tonne CFR Southeast Asia in mid-September.
Majority of Ammonium Sulphate produced in North America produces Caprolactam as a by-product. Local producers, due to oversupply situation of Caprolactam in the nylon markets are focusing on domestic Ammonium Sulphate market. However, production issues due to Hurricane Laura at the primary product caprolactam pushed up the pricing curve for the by-product AS during mid-August. As per our market sources, it is estimated that farmers in North America can potentially increase 1 million tonne demand for Ammonium Sulphate next year, thereby creating a huge opportunity for the regional Ammonium Sulphate market.
The restart of export-oriented plants in Russia and Ukraine saw a burst of sales activity in the Black Sea for late October and early November loadings. Spot supply from Russia and Ukraine was booked for the steady flow of cargoes for the rest of the year given that the region’s plant turnaround season is over. Spain and Turkey are booked to receive their usual contract volumes from various suppliers, while other countries also securing supply on spot basis for prompt arrival. However, as the governments and companies expected to get to grips with the second wave of the coronavirus, the demand of Ammonium Sulphate from the fertilizer manufacturers is expected to increase in Q4.