Quarterly Update on Phosphoric Acid Market
For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Phosphoric Acid prices rallied upwards across North America region, backed by firm demand from the domestic and global market. Demand for Phosphoric Acid from the downstream fertilizers manufactures remained high throughout the quarter, as the domestic farming sector picked up the pace during the month of May and June. In addition, strong DAP demand from European and Asian countries pushed up the global Phosphoric Acid demand that supported the upward trajectory of its pricing curve. The price of Phosphoric Acid reached its peak during the first week of June and hovered around USD 690/MT in USA.
During this quarter, price of several fertilizers rose sharply, due to unprecedented rise in feedstock chemicals including Phosphoric Acid, which is key feedstock for DAP. Effective rise in demand from the downstream DAP manufacturers increased the prices of Phosphoric Acid in the APAC region. While in China, prices also gained effectively due to strong rise in global demand. Frequent rise in price of feedstock chemicals, led to an extreme rise in downstream products that forced the Indian government to intervene and take measures to provide some relief to DAP consumers in India. The price of Phosphoric acid was assessed as USD 863/MT for 75% technical grade during the month of June.
The price of Phosphoric Acid climbed up in this quarter in major European countries, backed by sturdy demand from the downstream fertilizer segment. The agrochemicals sector of Europe showcased a rebound after witnessing critical weather conditions during the previous quarter. This rise in demand from the fertilizer manufacturers initiated an overall buoyancy in the price of Phosphoric Acid. In addition, due to global price hike, cargoes coming to Europe from Asia were also quoted expensive, where higher freight cost exacerbated the over price scenario.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
Freezing weather halted the production activity across the US gulf during Q1 2021, hence the prices of Phosphoric Acid increased significantly. The demand from the key consuming fertiliser sector remained low during the period, due to freezing weather conditions and limited cropping. Meanwhile the export demand from the European countries was high amidst spring season, although the trading activity remained largely halted during this period. The prices of Phosphoric Acid rose in the US rose from USD 615/MT (January 2021) to USD 645/MT (March 2021).
The performance of the Asian fertiliser industry remained dull during this period, hence the domestic demand for Phosphoric Acid remained low in the region. Although rising demand from the European countries maintained the buying momentum in the region. Several manufacturers were opting to export, rather than keeping it for the domestic market so as to secure better margins. Suez Canal blockage also impacted the trading activity across the region. Several Phosphoric Acid consignments were delayed during this period. In addition, from January to March, Phosphoric Acid prices rose by 4.8% in the Indian market despite showing a marginal movement in China.
Europe had a fair demand from the domestic fertiliser sector due to spring season, although the domestic supply remained insufficient to satisfy the total domestic demand. Hence the import demand across the region remained high that caused the prices to rise effectively. Meanwhile, extreme cold snap across the US market reduced the availability of Phosphoric Acid across the region and hence the traders diverted their dependency from the US to the Asian countries.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
The demand for phosphoric acid in the Asian market from various countries like China and India remained stable in Q4 due to its applications in the production of phosphate fertilizers. A leading player reported ramped up operating rates at its White Phosphoric Acid plant in China and is likely to commence production at its commercial food-grade acid by the end of Q1 2021. Pent-up demand from the textile and sugar industries mills kept the regional offers in a suitable range. The stability in prices of phosphorous assured stable price of Phosphoric Acid. Indian players reported increased Phosphoric acid usage in several industrial applications in Q4 of 2020 where the domestic prices stood around 713 USD/MT.
Market outlook of phosphoric acid in Europe remained somewhat steady. The offered prices of Phosphoric Acid were increased as players reported strong demand in the European region with consumers actively restocking to make purchases for the spring season. Its major consumption in the production of phosphate fertilizers increased the demand in the Q4 of 2020 as the fertilizer industry was least affected by the pandemic. White phosphoric acid (WPA) imports were reported high with a considerable improvement in food grade phosphates and stable industrial salts maintain the offers high.
The demand of Phosphoric Acid increased due to favorable crop output in the US. With various government initiatives to support the pressured economy, the demand of Phosphoric Acid remained well above producer’s expectations. In Q4 of 2020, the North American Phosphoric Acid sales remained stable with prices for the product maintained at higher levels to shed the previously incurred losses. Traded volumes were stable as fertilizer market were affected by lower phosphoric acid exports amid port related congestions heard towards the end of the quarter.