According to data collected by Mosaic Co., Urea prices fell in world markets week-to-week with the most dramatic declines appearing in the U.S. Cornbelt. NOLA prices remained unchanged while sendout prices from Yuzhnny and the Middle East fell markedly during the week to move even farther below last year's pricing.
Yuzhnny prilled Urea down $5.00 per tonne to $396; Middle East lower by just three dollars to $412; NOLA unchanged at $403 and U.S. Cornbelt Urea fell $8.00 to end $77.00 below last year's price at the same time. Easing ammonia helped a little here, but in the world market, ammonia is still very high year-on-year at $625/tonne to last year's $400.
The softening of Cornbelt Urea may be in response to recent weather patterns over the Midwest which have dumped a mixed bag of deep snow, rain and freezing rain on the region. This may push the spring application season a week or two later than expected, and retail hand-to-mouth buying has had little impact on pricing up the chain as of yet.
But a rush to apply once the snow melts could create a short-term demand market for growers who have yet to book spring nutrient. Increases of $10-$15/ton could pop up in that event. If it does play out that way, look for prices to correct back to the downside in a hurry once the spring push is satisfied. World nitrogen markets suggest more downside room somewhere in the near future, but fertilizer has always been a sucker for a demand market. Downstream inventories are robust at present and any leftovers in June may present bargains at that point.
Phosphates moved higher during the week. Tampa and Moroccan DAP both settled in below last year's pricing but registered week-over increases. Tampa added $6.00; Morocco added an ambitious $17.00 to end at $519.00; NOLA barge price added two dollars -- still $28.00 above year-ago; CFL increased three dollars to end the week at $475.00.
Photo credit: Harrison Schmitt / Foter.com / Public domain