For the Quarter Ending March 2023
Sodium Nitrate's price trend showed steady growth in the first quarter of 2023. Due to merchant supply to meet demand and continued purchases from the pharmaceutical end-user sector, prices increased at the beginning of Q1 2023 and remained up until the end of January. Later with the commencement of February, the prices stabilized on the back of consistent demand. Furthermore, in the US market, the cost of feedstock Nitric Acid decreased considerably because of lowering upstream ammonium nitrate prices around the world. In addition to this, the price of another feedstock, Sodium bicarbonate, stabilized, which impacted the sodium nitrate market by keeping the prices firm. At the termination of Q1 2023, the settlement price of Sodium Nitrate accessed at USD 870/MT CFR New York with an average quarterly inclination of 0.78%.
In the first quarter of 2023, Sodium Nitrate prices in the APAC area showed signs of improvement as domestic and foreign markets demand surged at the commencement of a new quarter in order to replenish their inventories with fresh stock. Also, the feedstock nitric acid prices increased on the back of rising upstream Ammonium nitrate prices across the globe. Another Feedstock sodium bicarbonate price rose steadily, further affecting the market situation for Sodium Nitrate. The market situation remained stable thanks to increasing production activity as well. Following the Lunar New Year holiday, the Chinese pharmaceutical markets technically made a strong comeback with consistent orders from the domestic and international markets. Factory and port operations started up as soon as the market was restored. At the termination of Q1 2023, the settlement price of Sodium Nitrate accessed at USD 720/MT FOB Shanghai with an average quarterly inclination of 3.64%.
Sodium Nitrate's price showcased an optimistic trajectory in the first quarter of 2023. Merchant supply to meet demand and continued purchases from the pharmaceutical end-user sector kept the prices on the upper end. In the European market, despite the fact that the decrease in the cost of feedstock nitric acid decreased considerably, the prices surged throughout the quarter on the back of increased feedstock Sodium bicarbonate prices in the European market. Increased production eventually affected the market situation. At the termination of Q1 2023, the settlement price of Sodium Nitrate accessed at USD 780/MT FOB Hamburg with an average quarterly inclination of 2.23%.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
The price of CFR New York significantly decreased from $945/mt to $850/mt in Q4 2022 from October to December as a result of the protracted market volatility in the US. Due to the Chinese holiday known as Golden Week, imports got restricted during the first week of October. Despite the fact that demand-related offtakes in the end-user sectors remained on the lower side throughout the quarter, the domestic suppliers were able to meet the total demand thanks to the sufficient stocks on their shelves. However, there was a gradual improvement in the second half of the year as the economy began to grow, and the ports had a significant decrease in ship backlogs after a lengthy port backlog.
In the Asia Pacific region, Sodium Nitrate prices in the domestic Chinese market fell slightly during the fourth quarter of 2022 as FOB Shanghai values declined from $657/mt and $647/mt, respectively, from October to December. Due to industrial facilities being closed for the Golden Week, China's industry that produces Sodium Nitrate had a continuous reduction in orders during the first week of October. It was challenging for the market to catch up to the small gain seen in various downstream industries during the first half of Q4 because Chinese traders had to deal with a range of contradicting signals after a one-week break. Domestic producers and suppliers were able to meet the demand for the entire quarter because of large inventories.
In Europe, the prices of Sodium Nitrate showed a downward tendency in the fourth quarter of 2022, with FOB Hamburg values dropping from $738/mt to $730/mt from October to December. Along with the rising energy and raw material prices, demand in Germany remained on the stable side during the quarter, making it challenging for the food and beverages industries to plan ahead and stay afloat. Germany's industrial production got slightly better in October despite rising energy prices and supply-chain worries. Nevertheless, the circumstances in Russia and Ukraine as well as COVID-19 cases all continued to have a detrimental effect on output.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
The domestic North American market of Sodium Nitrate displayed a declining trend in Q3 2022. China, a significant supplier, implemented a "zero-covid tolerance" policy that severely restricted the import of certain food chemicals, including sodium nitrate, into the United States. Many Chinese production facilities had to shut down in the second half of Q3 due to the heat wave and power deficit, and plants that produced food chemicals went under maintenance, which had a negative effect on US commerce. Many firms and industries blamed the decline in demand in the country on a variety of problems, including inflation, supply constraints, rising interest rates, and growing economic insecurity. Lack of consumer demand has been a major factor in the US's declining demand trend. The CFR New York prices decreased over the months of July through September, falling from $985/mt to $930/mt.
The Asia Pacific as a whole had a dip in the third quarter of 2022, with FOB Shanghai discussions in the domestic Chinese market falling from $710/mt to $655/mt between July and September. A few of the factors that have influenced this price trend are fluctuating raw material costs, changing consumer spending, and delayed end-user sector demand. Due to the weak offtakes and lackluster downstream demand during the first half of Q3, big suppliers refrained from making large orders. However, some manufacturing facilities underwent maintenance when the markets resumed operations in the final week of July following the shutdown, which had an effect on the availability of the product for both domestic and foreign suppliers. Extreme weather and power outages had a further detrimental effect on China's market dynamics this quarter.
The CFR Hamburg discussions for Sodium Nitrate in Germany dropped from $710/MT to $655/MT between July and September, indicating a negative trend for the third quarter of 2022. This quarter's port congestion and ongoing transportation delays caused logistical problems that made the economic situation in Germany worse. Along with the upheaval in Russia and Ukraine, the persistent port restrictions in China have deteriorated the business environment in Europe. Offtakes in the end-user industries during this quarter ranged from low to stable on the demand front. Additionally, there was a lackluster demand from the end-user sector for food and beverages throughout this quarter.
In the second quarter of 2022, the domestic sodium nitrate market in the US demonstrated a favourable development. The resurgence of COVID in China's commercial districts significantly worsened the flow of sodium nitrate into the US, which was already experiencing substantial port congestion. Due to several factors, including the US's skyrocketing inflation, the geopolitical upheaval in Russia and Ukraine, and the constantly shifting nature of oil prices, domestic traders and customers continued to voice their concerns about the high cost of food chemicals during the entire quarter. The downstream food and confectionary sectors in the area had sustained high demand.
The price of sodium nitrate fell substantially during the first half of the second quarter of 2022 in the Asia Pacific region before stabilizing in the second half. During the first part of the quarter, there was little demand for the product from the end-user food and beverage industries, but during H2, things got a little better. A spike in COVID cases in the major provinces of China had a detrimental impact on the supply of sodium nitrate into and out of the country, and the nation's zero-COVID policy compelled the ports to close, producing port bottlenecks. The tolerance policy continued to cause supply and manufacturing to be disrupted throughout the quarter. As a result of the restrictions, moving products across the border was also extremely difficult.
The second quarter of 2022 saw a positive trend in the sodium nitrate market of the European region. Over the quarter, offtakes in the end-user food and beverage sectors remained steady on the demand front. Local traders in the European market had a large supply of goods to match the downstream demand. Although the crisis between Russia and Ukraine largely hampered the flow of goods into Europe, exporting countries found it harder to conduct business. Due to the serious disruption of global trade caused by a lack of empty cargo containers and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the cost of moving goods from China to Europe increased even further.