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VOL 13 No 48 20 JANUARY 2011 CONTENTS Yuzhny urea prices fall into $360s/tonne FOB

VOL 13

No 48

20 JANUARY 2011

CONTENTS

Yuzhny urea prices fall into $360s/tonne FOB

1

US granular urea barge prices slip in low trading

5

Yara raises nitrates prices in Europe

6

Pakistan buys prompt GCT DAP cargo

8

Tampa DAP deals reported at $588-600/tonne FOB

8

Yuzhny ammonia jumps up to $460/tonne FOB

10

Mitsui buys Saudi NH3 cargo at $417.50/tonne FOB

12

China spot sulphur prices rose above $205/t CFR

14

Canpotex to announce agreements with China

16

NEWS

Cargill to vacate majority stake in Mosaic

17

Safco to study potential new urea plant

18

K+S acquires 81% stake in Potash One

18

urea plant 18 K+S acquires 81% stake in Potash One 18 ICIS Customer Support: csc@icis.com E-mail:

ICIS Customer Support: csc@icis.com E-mail: antonella.harrison@icis.com E-mail: mike.nash@icis.com E-mail: rebecca.clarke@icis.com carl.roache@icis.com E-mail rita.menezes@icis.com Web: www.icispricing.com

Nitrogen

OVERVIEW

Under pressure sales have seen Yuzhny urea prices fall into the $360s/tonne FOB for the first time since November. Faced with mounting stocks and a lack of storage, NF

Trading decided to liquidate product, already committed to a trader but not lifted on time, at prices ranging $365-378/tonne FOB. Opinion is divided on whether these and other subsequent sales in the $360s/tonne FOB are merely a momentary dip in Yuzhny or the start of a defined trend downward.

The US market has also taken a step down this week, with prompt barges trading as low as $378/short ton FOB Nola. Business has been slim, with buyers, aware that substantial imports are due to arrive, happy to wait and see.

Prilled Urea: Yuzhny High-Low

400 Yuzhny urea trades down into $360s/tonne FOB. 300 $pt FOB 200 100 J AJOJ
400
Yuzhny urea trades down into
$360s/tonne FOB.
300
$pt FOB
200
100
J
AJOJ
AJ
OJ
09
10
11
European urea trade remains steady with prices firming in France and Spain. The rising
costs of other nitrogen products have supported this upward price movement.

Elsewhere, the absence of cheap Chinese supply, healthy stock levels in several countries, and low domestic prices are inhibiting trade in Southeast Asia. With the Chinese New Year looming, trade is not expected to pick up notably in the coming weeks.

The timing of Latin American demand and the development of the non-lifting of cargoes situation will be crucial for Yuzhny price development going forward. The US has been the key driver of the granular urea market in recent weeks, but it appears to have temporarily run out of steam. However, European demand remains healthy which could limit any downside potential for granular sellers.

ICIS pricing accepts no liability for commercial decisions based on the content of this report. Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information Limited. Icis Pricing is a member of the Reed Elsevier Plc Group.

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20 January 2011

Black Sea In Yuzhny, NF Trading reports that a trader has yet to ship 66,000

Black Sea

In Yuzhny, NF Trading reports that a trader has yet to ship 66,000 tonnes of Gorlovka prilled urea booked for January. Accordingly, to avoid over storage or running down production rates, NF Trading has sold 83,000 tonnes to various traders in the range $365-378/tonne FOB. The following deals are reported:

ADM, 25,000 tonnes at $370/tonne FOB. Destination

Brazil on the C.S. Caroline

Max Agro (subsequently sold onto Ameropa), 25,000

tonnes at $365/tonne FOB. Destination Chile on the Pacific

Bulker

Various traders including Trammo, 33,000 tonnes, in the range $365-378/tonne FOB.

If the issues with the trader are resolved, NF Trading intends to lift its cargoes during the second half of February. The buyer in question says it intends to lift all of the tonnes it has booked during January.

AFT has sold 10,000-15,000 tonnes to a trader at $376/tonne FOB, for February shipment. AFT has a further 40,000-50,000 tonnes to sell.

Biofert has sold a total of around 19,000 tonnes to various traders at prices close to $360/tonne FOB, for end-January shipment. Biofert has 20,000 tonnes available for February shipment.

Cherkassy is understood to have sold 10,000-20,000 tonnes at around $370/tonne FOB.

Dnipro Azot has its full February production available – around 60,000 tonnes – and is targeting prices close to $390/tonne FOB.

NF Trading sold 25,000 tonnes to Helm last week at $375/tonne FOB. It is offering granular urea at $400/tonne FOB.

Last week, AFT sold the balance of its January availability – 20,000-30,000 tonnes – at prices ranging $373-376/tonne FOB. Ameropa booked 20,000 tonnes of this.

The paper market is weakening in line with the physical, with February offered at $370/tonne FOB, down $8/tonne on last week.

OPZ vessel line up – January

Comp

Nord Hakata

26

Keytrade/Senegal

Comp

Buse S

6

Ameropa/Turkey

Comp

Castle Gate

48

MidGulf/Ethiopia

Comp

Necdet K

7

Ameropa/Italy

Comp

Seytoy Iakov

34

FCI/Turkey

Comp

River Grace

5

Fortrade/Italy FCI/Turkey FCI/India or Viet Balderton/Turkey Mekatrade/Cuba Ameropa/Israel

Comp

St Valentine

9

19

St George

42

20

Pearl K

15

20

Hattie

21

21-23

Yuksel Im

3

25

Buse S

6

Ameropa/Italy

 

222

TIS

Comp

St Stephan

42

FCI/India

 

42

Total Yuzhny

264

The Pearl K will also load 6,000 tonnes of NPKs at TIS.

Novorossisk Eurochem is offering February prilled cargoes at $385-387/tonne FOB.

Baltic

Bad weather and heavy ice continues to hamper business from certain Baltic ports such as St Petersburg. Producers are asking for prices in the $370s/tonne FOB for prilled urea in ice free ports.

February availabilities are estimated as follows:

St Petersburg:

PhosAgro – 20,000 tonnes

Riga:

Citco – 20,000 tonnes

Biofert – 10,000 tonnes

Togliatti – 0 tonnes

Uralchem – 40,000 tonnes Klaipeda:

Eurochem – 30,000 tonnes

Grodno – 20,000 tonnes Tallinn:

Acron – 15,000 tonnes Ventspils:

Citco – 0

Total: 155,000 tonnes

Riga - Citco is reported to have sold a cargo of prilled urea for prompt loading at $363/tonne FOB, although this is unconfirmed.

Uralchem is looking for a vessel to ship 25,000 tonnes to Brazil, but no sale has been reported yet.

Biofert has around 10,000 tonnes available for February shipment.

ICIS pricing accepts no liability for commercial decisions based on the content of this report. Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information Limited. Icis Pricing is a member of the Reed Elsevier Plc Group.

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2011 Reed Business Information Limited. Icis Pricing is a member of the Reed Elsevier Plc Group.

20 January 2011

SUMMARY OF RECENT SPOT SALES   Product Origin Seller Buyer Destination ‘000t $pt Ship

SUMMARY OF RECENT SPOT SALES

 

Product

Origin

Seller

Buyer

Destination

‘000t

$pt

Ship

Urea

Ukraine

NF Trading

ADM

Brazil

25

370 FOB 365 FOB 365-378 FOB 376 FOB around 360 FOB 373-376 FOB 393-400 CFR 180d 454.68 CFR 270d 466.8 CFR 270d around 430 CFR 400 FOB 397-398 FOB 400 FOB 479.97 CFR 270d 287-288 FOB 620 CFR? 580 FOB $600 FOB plus form 588 FOB? 590s FOB 420 FOB 460 FOB 450 FOB formula 417.50 FOB formula 442.50 CFR 30d 443.75 CFR 60d l-210s CFR 205-210 CFR 203-205 CFR 205 CFR 450 CFR 440-450 CFR >440-450 CFR >440-450 CFR

J/F

Ukraine

NF Trading

Max Agro

Chile

25

J/F

Ukraine

NF Trading

Various

Various

33

J/F

Ukraine

AFT

Trader

10-15

F

Russia

Biofert

Various

Various

19

J

Ukraine

AFT

Ameropa

20

J

FSU

FCI

Igsas

Turkey

2 x 6

F

China?

Valency

CFC

Sri Lanka

12

My

China?

Valency

CCF

Sri Lanka

24

My

Yuzhny

Ameropa

Anagra

Chile

25

J/F

Granular

Russia

Eurochem

Yara

Europe

25-30

J/F

Oman

SIUCI

Keytrade

Thailand

20

F

Kuwait

PIC

Yara

Brazil?

30

F

UAE

ETA

CFC

Sri Lanka

24

My

UAN

Egypt

Abu Qir

Keytrade

30

J

DAP

Tunisia

Multicom

Engro

Pakistan

30

J

Lithuania

EuroChem

Germany

10

F

US

PhosChem

various

Cen America

40

J-F

US

Trammo

Mexico

6

J

MAP

Morocco

OCP

various

Europe

20-25

J

TSP

China

Various

traders

Lat America

J-F

Ammonia

Yuzhny

Trammo?

F

Yuzhny

OPZ

Trader

23

F

Yuzhny

Mitsui

Yara

Tampa

23

J

S Arabia

Sabic

Mitsui

Taiwan

15

F

Iran

PCC

Mits, Mitsub

Taiwan

23

J

Malaysia

CIFC

IFFCO

India

10.5

J

Malaysia

Mitco

Tata Chem

India

4.5

J

Sulphur

Saudi Arabia

Traders

China

2 x 30

J/F

Saudi Arabia

Interacid

China

30

J

Middle East

Transfert

China

20-22

J

Middle East?

Transfert

Philphos

Philippines

27

F

MOPg

FSU

BPC

Thailand

10

F

FSU

BPC

Brazil

6 x 50

F

FSU

BPC

Colomb/Venez

25

F

FSU

BPC

Colomb/Venez

25

M

Tallinn - Acron is linked to small sales into Europe at around $370/tonne FOB.

Klaipeda – Eurochem reports the following granular sales for February:

10,000 tonnes to Germany $400/tonne FOB

10,000 tonnes to Northern France $410/tonne FOB

12,000 tonnes to Benelux $407/tonne FOB

Yara was among the buyers, booking a total of 25,000- 30,000 tonnes at around $400/tonne FOB for European destinations.

Indagro is reporting to have sold some Russian granular urea at $435-440/tonne CFR Brazil/Argentina.

BPC has sold small quantities of urea at $370/tonne FOB to Eastern Europe. BPC is sold out for January and expects to offer February cargoes early next week.

Europe

In Italy, Yara’s Ferrara plant is back up after maintenance, with granular urea offered at €370-375/tonne FCA bagged Ravenna.

In France, Yara and Helm are selling granular urea at around €355/tonne FCA Atlantic port.

Trammo has placed up to 18,000 tonnes of granular urea in small lots in Italy and France at prices netting to $423- 428/tonne FOB Egypt.

ICIS pricing accepts no liability for commercial decisions based on the content of this report. Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information Limited. Icis Pricing is a member of the Reed Elsevier Plc Group.

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20 January 2011

Weekly Freight Rate Indications Route Product tonnes $/tonne Y u z h n y -

Weekly Freight Rate Indications

Route

Product

tonnes

$/tonne

Yuzhny-WC India Riga-Brazil AG- US Gulf Egypt-French Bay USG-WC India Morocco-Brazil USG-Brazil Baltic-Brazil Baltic-China Vancouver-Brazil Vancouver-China AG-WC India AG-China

Urea

35-40,000

32-34

Urea

25-30,000

30-31

Urea

35-45,000

30-31

Urea

6-8,000

26-28

DAP

50-60,000

59-61

MAP

25-30,000

22-24

DAP

25-30,000

35-37

MOP

30-35,000

29-31

MOP

55-60,000

38-42

MOP/Sul

45-50,000

25-27

Sul/MOP

50-55,000

20-21

Sulphur

15-20,000

22-23

Sulphur

25-30,000

26-28

In Spain, traders sold a cargo of Egyptian granular urea at $460/tonne CFR including 90 days’ credit. Offers subsequently increased to $465/tonne CFR Spanish Mediterranean.

In Turkey, Igsas is understood to have bought 6,000 tonnes at $400/tonne CFR Iskenderun and 6,000 tonnes at $393/tonne CFR Samsun, both from FCI for beginning February shipment.

Kastamonu closed a tender on 20 January for 2 x 3,000 tonnes of prilled urea for late-January shipment. It decided to scrap the tender, dissatisfied with the prices offered.

Africa

In Egypt, no new sales have followed last week’s trade at a two-year high of $425/tonne FOB. Trammo is expected to ship this 20,000 tonne cargo to Italy.

January is sold out and producers are expected to offer February tonnes next week or at the AFA conference in Cairo in early February. The paper market is holding steady with a trade for February at $422/tonne FOB.

In Libya, Yara is sold out for February , with shipments to Mediterranean markets and Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia, a government tender for 30,000 tonnes of urea closed on 18 January, for March shipment. The following offers were received, all for 30,000 tonnes. Prices include local bags and bagging costs in Djibouti:

Helm, $466.00/tonne CFRLO China or Ukraine origin

Indagro, $492.00/tonne CFRLO, Ukraine origin

Ameropa, $492.27/tonne CFRLO, Russian origin

MidGulf, $495.00/tonne CFRLO, Ukraine or Chinese origin

Yara, $505.25/tonne CFRLO, Libyan origin.

Middle East

ICIS is considering excluding Iranian urea prices from its Arabian Gulf FOB price and introducing a separate Iran FOB price. Please send any comments to carl.roache@icis.com.

Keytrade is understood to have bought 20,000 tonnes of Omani urea at $397-398/tonne FOB and is in the freight market to Thailand.

In Kuwait, last week PIC sold 30,000 tonnes to Yara at $400/tonne FOB, for beginning February shipment most likely to Brazil.

PIC reports to have around 10,000 tonnes uncommitted for end-January shipment, but a full cargo available for February shipment. During February it will ship under contract to the US and Thailand.

In the UAE, Fertil has around 25,000 tonnes of urea available for end-January shipment. In February, it has 1-2 cargoes lined up under contract for BCIC Bangladesh.

In Saudi Arabia, Sabic reports to be close to fully committed for February, due to a heavy schedule of contract shipments. It price idea for end-February/early March cargoes is upward of $400/tonne FOB.

In Qatar, Qafco has a full schedule of contract shipments

during February to destinations including the US, Thailand

and South Korea.

In Iran, PCC expects to have a minimum of 100,000 tonnes

available for export during February. Samsung has been offering Iranian prilled urea in Taiwan at $410/tonne CFR. Freight is estimated at $30/tonne.

Asia

In China, it remains unclear how much urea is in bonded

warehouses, but there is an obvious dearth of cargoes. Firm

offers are limited and it is a challenge to source cargoes

larger than 10,000 tonnes. The latest offers of prilled urea are at $390-398/tonne FOB. Granular urea is barely being offered. Small cargoes are indicated at $405-407/tonne FOB.

A small lot of granular urea was heard sold to a Korean

buyer in the mid-$400s/tonne FOB. PetroChina is understood to have sold two granular cargoes at similar

price levels. Due to the lack of producer offers, some trader

to trader business is taking place.

ICIS pricing accepts no liability for commercial decisions based on the content of this report. Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information Limited. Icis Pricing is a member of the Reed Elsevier Plc Group.

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20 January 2011

Domestic prices are firm approaching the Spring Festival. In the east prices are largely unchanged

Domestic prices are firm approaching the Spring Festival. In the east prices are largely unchanged at Rmb 1,960- 2,050/tonne ex-warehouse and in the south at Rmb 2,100- 2,150 /tonne ex-warehouse. The Shandong Luxi price is Rmb 1,920/tonne ex-works, again largely unchanged week- on-week.

Urea production in Shanxi, Hubei, Henan and Chongqi remains reduced due to the government focusing energy supplies on the domestic sector during winter.

In Southeast Asia, demand remains sluggish. The limited offers ex-China are too high to be workable into markets like Vietnam and the Philippines.

In Vietnam, buyers are delaying fresh urea purchases until after the Lunar New Year. Also, cold weather in the north has adversely affected fertilizer demand. Stocks are currently adequate, but once the application season starts in the south, inventories could quickly be depleted. As a result, buying is expected to be healthy after the New Year.

At present, prilled urea is being offered at $425/tonne CFR, but buying ideas are nearer $400-415/tonne CFR. Domestic producer PetroVietnam is selling at $385/tonne CFR due to price regulations.

Small containers of re-exported Chinese urea are being offered at $390/tonne FOB for prilled and over $400/tonne FOB for granular urea.

In Thailand, the government price cap continues to hamper business, although some trade around $417-420/tonne CFR has been reported.

In Indonesia, Pusri is understood to have sold 5,000-10,000 tonnes of prilled urea to Swiss Singapore. It was targeting a price close to $400/tonne FOB for this cargo, a carryover from its 2010 export allowance.

Most suppliers are concentrating on fulfilling domestic requirements, which are expected to be strong throughout Q1 2011.

In Taiwan, Samsung is offering 10,000-15,000 tonnes of Iranian prilled at $410/tonne CFR for February shipment.

In Bangladesh, an abundance of vessels arriving alongside a lack of stevedores and barges has seen significant delays to the discharging of urea vessels.

In India, talks continue about the potential de-control of urea and it is understood the government intends to include urea under the nutrient based subsidy system as of 1 April.

fixed, lower subsidy, but

producers/sellers will have the ability to set their own prices.

Urea

will

be

given

a

The revised NBS for 2011-2012, announced in November 2010, set a urea import parity price of $280/tonne CFR, reflecting $6.09 per unit nitrogen. However, this was not applicable to imported urea, only for nitrogen used in compound fertilizers and indigenous amsul.

In Pakistan, there has been no development regarding the importation of urea. It is understood the government is still looking at the Saudi grant, but yet to reach an agreement. With urea plants currently shutdown due to the government’s gas load management plan, the need to import urea is high.

In Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Agriculture made the following awards under its 7 January bagged urea tender:

Valency, 12,000 tonnes for Ceylon Fertilizer

Company, at $454.68/tonne CFR including 270 days’ credit, for May 2011 delivery

Commercial

Fertilizer Company at $466.8/tonne CFR including 270

days’ credit, for May 2011 delivery

Valency,

24,000

tonnes

for

Colombo

ETA, 24,000 tonnes for Ceylon Fertilizer Company at

$479.97/tonne CFR including 270 days’ credit, for May 2011 delivery.

ETA was backed by Fertil, UAE.

Americas

In the US, a lack of activity has seen prompt urea barge prices weaken to $378-383/short ton FOB Nola. Unfavourable weather has played its part in this, delaying the wheat top-dress in the Southern Plains. In addition, a vast quantity of urea is due to arrive in the coming weeks so buyers are in no hurry to purchase. Alongside this, there is uncertainty whether that the substantial ammonia fall season will eat into spring nitrogen demand. As a result, there are more sellers than buyers at present.

According to the TFI record, US urea production in December 2010 totalled 236,000 short tons, up 14% year- on-year. July-November production totalled 1.2m short tons, down 5% year-on-year. In December closing inventories totalled 334,000 short tons, up 63% year-on- year. Moreover, producer disappearance at 185,000 short tons, was down 30% year-on-year.

ICIS pricing accepts no liability for commercial decisions based on the content of this report. Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information Limited. Icis Pricing is a member of the Reed Elsevier Plc Group.

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20 January 2011

The wealth of cheap physical barges has seen interest in paper trade wane and prices

The wealth of cheap physical barges has seen interest in paper trade wane and prices soften. February paper bids are down to $380/short ton FOB, from $384/short ton FOB last week.

Indagro is offering granular urea from a 25,000 tonne cargo of FSU origin at $435-440/tonne CFR Argentina/Brazil, for prompt shipment. Part of the cargo is reported to have already been sold to buyers in both countries.

In Chile, Anagra has bought 25,000 tonnes of urea from Ameropa, at close to $430/tonne CFR. Ameropa will supply this from Yuzhny.

In Mexico, Trammo is linked to a sale of 20,000-25,000 tonnes to several buyers at prices ranging $402-403/tonne CFR.

In Brazil, FCI is offering urea, but buying ideas remain in the high-$390s/tonne CFR. Some sales are understood to have taken place at this level. ADM booked a cargo from NF Trading at $370/tonne FOB Yuzhny. Freight from Yuzhny is around $30/tonne.

 

Direct Hedge Fertilizer Swaps Price Indications 20 January 2011

Urea

FOB Nola ps ton

FOB Yuzhny

Buyers

Sellers

Buyers

Sellers

Jan

382

385

374

379

Feb

380

385

367

370

Mar

378

385

367

370

Ammonium sulphate/nitrate

ICIS is considering removing the US ammonium nitrate FOB Nola price. Please send any comments to freda.gordon@icis.com.

In the Black Sea, the market has been quiet. Traders expect demand in Turkey and Brazil to pick up in February.

AN has been sold at $300/tonne FOB Nikolaev for January shipment, and Russian AN is on offer in Turkey at a netback of $300/tonne FOB Black Sea.

In Ukraine, AN prices in the domestic market are stable at an equivalent of $315-320/tonne FOB.

In the Baltic, BPC remains in negotiation with buyers for January amsul shipment. Amsul price indications have softened slightly to $215/tonne FOB.

At Klaipeda/Kaliningrad, Eurochem reports selling 5,000 tonnes of CAN to Germany at $300/tonne FOB, and 6,000 tonnes to Benelux at $303/tonne FOB, both for February loading.

The producer previously sold 6,000 tonnes of CAN to Ireland and 6,000 tonnes to Germany, at $285/tonne FOB Klaipeda, for January loading.

In Brazil, sellers are understood to be offering amsul at $250-255/tonne CFR, countered by buyer ideas of $230- 240/tonne CFR.

In France, Yara has posted an increase of €43/tonne on its AN price to €355/tonne delivered. The new price was effective from 14 January, but will apply for deliveries starting around 10 February due to a backlog. The rise is higher than an expected €5-10/tonne increase, justified by Yara on the grounds of tight supply.

Yara’s CAN 27 prices in France have been increased by €28/tonne to €286/tonne bulk delivered.

In Germany, Yara raised its CAN 27 prices for January by €28/tonne, to €271/tonne CIF in the north and €275/tonne CIF in the south. The company cites healthy grain prices and tight supply as reasons for the hike. The prices are effective from 14 January, with delivery at the new prices expected to start 10-15 February.

K+S Nitrogen has yet to announce its new CAN price. OCI Agro’s CAN is priced at €252/tonne CIF for January.

In the UK, GrowHow has also raised its AN prices. The wholesale prices are at £315/tonne delivered for February, and at £320/tonne delivered for March. These reflect £330/tonne delivered to farm for February, and £335/tonne delivered to farm for March.

In the US, AN prices ticked up to $330-340/short ton FOB, from $325-330/short ton FOB Nola last week, on the back of tight supply. The top end of the range represents prices for February-March deliveries.

According to the TFI record, amsul production in the US totalled 206,000 short tons in December 2010, down 17% year-on-year. Additionally, US AN closing inventories totalled 42,000 short tons, down 44% year-on-year.

UAN Solutions

In the US, business has taken place in the Midwest that would netback back to around $295/short ton FOB Nola. UAN prices are indicated at $285-295/short ton FOB Nola,

ICIS pricing accepts no liability for commercial decisions based on the content of this report. Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information Limited. Icis Pricing is a member of the Reed Elsevier Plc Group.

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20 January 2011

with the lower end of the range down $5/tonne short ton from the week before.

with the lower end of the range down $5/tonne short ton from the week before.

In Egypt, Abu Qir has sold 30,000 tonnes of UAN at $287- 288/tonne FOB to Keytrade for 21-25 January shipment under the 17 January sales tender.

long producer and has sold into Pakistan at a lower FOB netback around the low-$570s/tonne. Concerns over the security of supply from Tunisia in view of the political turmoil there seem to be unfounded, although there are reports that the troubles prompted several traders to step in for Chinese TSP in order to meet Latin American demand.

In France, Yara has withdrawn its UAN offers at €230/tonne ex-tank Rouen earlier this week. New prices are expected to be announced soon.

UAN prices climbed further this week to €228-230/tonne FCA, up from €226-228/tonne FCA last week.

In the Black Sea, Eurochem reports selling 30,000 tonnes of UAN for February loading, at $308/tonne CFR US. Freight indications Black Sea-US east coast are at $31-

In the US, Trammo meanwhile sold a small parcel of DAP to Mexico. Unconfirmed reports indicate the deal was done in the high-$580s/tonne FOB. PhosChem continues to make small headline DAP sales at $600/tonne FOB, selling the rest under formula. Domestic market prices are holding steady but US DAP/MAP stocks rose 37% in December to 737,000 short tons although this is still a comparatively low level.

 

$pt fob

 

DAP Price Comparison

   

32/tonne.

 
US DAP stable at $588-600/tonne FOB but North African DAP prices slip to low $570s/tonne
US DAP stable at $588-600/tonne FOB but
North African DAP prices slip to low
$570s/tonne FOB on sale to Pakistan
North
Africa
US

1300

In Romania, it has emerged that InterAgro recently sold 2- 3 UAN cargoes at around $288/tonne FOB for shipment to the US.

1100

900

700

In the Baltic, BPC expects to start offering Grodno UAN in the second half of 2011.

500

300

 

Direct Hedge

   
 

100

J

AJ

OJ

AJOJ

AJOJ

A

J1

 

Fertilizer Swaps Price Indications 20 January 2011

07

08

09

10

1

UAN

FOB Nola $ps ton

Fot Rouen €pt

 

Buyers

Sellers

Buyers

Sellers

 

In Ethiopia, JPMC looks set to be awarded under the 35,000 tonne DAP tender held there this week.

Jan

290

295

228

232

Feb

290

295

228

232

 

Mar

290

295

228

232

 

In India, phosphoric acid prices have been fully confirmed up $50/tonne P2O5 CFR, suggesting that DAP prices for 2011-12 contracts will also move higher.

 

Phosphates

OVERVIEW

An otherwise quiet week in the phosphates market has been shattered with news emerging that Cargill wants to sell its 64% stake in Mosaic in a potential $24bn deal. Investor response has been decidedly mixed. Initially, markets reacted badly with 10% wiped off the value of Mosaic stock, due to fears about an oversupply.

Longer term, the deal is seen as giving Mosaic more financial and strategic flexibility. Mosaic remains a potential takeover target for a number of suitors, including BHP and Vale but an acquisition is not thought imminent as Cargill attempts to make the deal a tax-free arrangement.

Looking forward, the market remains on a firm footing with many producers sold out through February. US and Indian demand should kick in as February progresses.

Asia

In China, a cargo of Chinese DAP from a bonded warehouse has changed hands between traders at $600- 610/tonne FOB. This is thought to have been lined up for export to Thailand.

Several traders have stepped in to buy Chinese TSP at around $420/tonne FOB due to concerns over supply from Tunisia.

With comparatively little product available for January, there has been limited liquidity this week. GCT was the only

The domestic market is quiet ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays and limited new trades of DAP/MAP have been completed. Offers for 55% powdered MAP ranged

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20 January 2011

between CNY 2,650-2,700/tonne ex works and most producers have received sufficient orders for production until

between CNY 2,650-2,700/tonne ex works and most producers have received sufficient orders for production until February. Offers for 64% DAP were mainly at CNY 3,150-3,200/tonne, while wholesale prices in northeast China stood at CNY 3,500-3,550/tonne, with a few new cargoes already arrived.

In India , Foskor, GCT and ICL have all settled Q1 phosphoric acid agreements with their respective partners at the prevailing $830/tonne P2O5 CFR.

Given the increase in acid pricing, the $450/tonne CFR proposed for 2011-12 DAP contracts looks increasingly untenable as an initial position. Phosphoric acid pricing may not move dramatically in Q2 but there is uncertainty over ammonia pricing, which is likely to be firmer. At current phosphoric acid and ammonia prices, the equivalent DAP price is $530-535/tonne CFR, which would represent an increase of just $30-35/tonne on the current CFR price cap under the NBS. Officially, sources are still saying that nothing will be agreed on DAP until after the Union budget in February.

IFFCO’s inquiry for up to 1m tonnes of SSP closes on 31 January.

In Pakistan, Engro has bought a cargo of Tunisian DAP from Multicommerce for very prompt shipment. The price has not been revealed but is reported to be around $620/tonne CFR. Another couple of imported DAP cargoes are expected to be bought during Q1 due to low stocks.

Fauji has clarified its domestic production programme for Q1. The Port Qasim plant went down for a month of maintenance on 13 January and will not restart until 6-7 February. The shutdown coincides with a gas supply curtailment. Fauji plans to produce 100,000 tonnes of DAP during the first quarter.

In Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Agriculture scrapped its 7 January tender for 12,000 tonnes of TSP. It is rumoured that some tender offers did not meet the required specification. The Ministry has announced a new tender closing on 11 February for April-May shipment.

In Thailand, there are reports that the market is short on DAP. Thai Central is reported to be bringing in a US cargo bought previously in the $640s/tonne CFR and Trammo is understood to be indicating a US cargo at $650/tonne CFR. Helm is also reported to have a Chinese DAP cargo earmarked for the market. Thai buyers are concerned at the lack of Chinese product on offer.

In Vietnam, there are reports of offers of re-exported DAP of Chinese origin at $610/tonne FOB.

Europe

In Russia, EuroChem is loading 18,000 tonnes of Lifosa DAP on the Lalinde plus another 25,000 tonnes for Peru on the Aghia Marina. It also has 50,000 tonnes for northern Europe in January.

For February, Lifosa’s planned output is 65,000 tonnes, of which 10,000 tonnes has reportedly been sold to Germany at $580/tonne FOB with 12,000 tonnes earmarked for Benelux and the UK, plus 30,000 tonnes for Iran under old business.

Around 38,000 tonnes of Kingisepp MAP will load for the US in January aboard the Kinatsi. A further 10,000 tonnes will move to Belarus.

For February, EuroChem will ship 10,000 tonnes to Russia and 3,000 tonnes to the Ukraine. It has 20,000 tonnes of MAP and 10,000 tonnes left to sell for February.

Belorechensk MAP is more or less sold out for February, with 15,000 tonnes booked for Russia and 10,000 tonnes for the Ukraine. January’s output is also moving locally.

Americas

In the US, PhosChem reports the sale of 6,000 tonnes of DAP to Central America at $600/tonne FOB. In total, 40,000 tonnes of DAP have been placed this week, with the remainder sold under formula pricing.

Trammo has sold a cargo of US DAP to Latin America, widely reported to be Mexico. Trammo will not comment on the price. Rumours are that the deal was done at $588/tonne FOB.

The domestic market is stable to firm with DAP barges reportedly changing hands this week in the low $550s/short ton FOB Nola, slightly up on last week although traders also reported trades at $545/short ton FOB. In Central Florida, Mosaic has made some more rail car sales at $550/short ton FOB.

DAP production reached 594,000 short tons in December, up 1% on November but down 8% on December 2009.

Inventories rose dramatically by 37% to reach 385,000 short tons, down 5% on December 2009. Producer disappearance fell 30% to 489,000 short tons, down 31% on December

2009.

MAP production rose 6% in December to reach 472,000 short tons. This was also up 22% on December 2009.

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20 January 2011

Closing inventories rose 36% to 351,000 short tons, up 3% on December 2009. Producer disappearance

Closing inventories rose 36% to 351,000 short tons, up 3% on December 2009. Producer disappearance fell 16% to 378,000 short tons, also down 16% on December 2009.

DAP exports for December fell by 40.4% year on year as contractual shipments to India began to slow. DAP exports reached 204,629 short tons in December, of which India still accounted for 160,955 short tons, or 79% of the total. Other exports included 14,045 short tons to Mexico, 11,433 short tons to Colombia and 17,112 short tons to Japan.

MAP exports reached 138,696 short tons in December, up 1.3% on December 2009. This included 51,432 short tons to Canada (37%), 36,214 short tons to Brazil (26%) and 22,105 short tons (16%) to Argentina. Around 16,000 short tons were also sent to Colombia.

Cargill plans to vacate its 64% ownership position in Mosaic in a deal that could be worth $24.3bn. Cargill and Mosaic jointly announced a transaction that would result in the distribution of Cargill's 286m share position in Mosaic to Cargill's shareholders and debt holders. The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2011. (See also News)

In Brazil , there is some price checking going on with bids for DAP/MAP at $600/tonne CFR. Demand for DAP is mostly over for now as the Safrinha season comes to an end.

In Venezuela , IPSL was reported to be closing a tender for 25,000 tonnes of DAP and 6,000 tonnes of MAP on 21 January.

 

Direct Hedge Fertilizer Swaps Price Indications 20 January 2011

 

DAP

FOB Tampa

FOB Nola s ton

Buyers

Sellers

Buyers

Sellers

Jan

590

600

552

558

Feb

580

585

552

558

Mar

575

580

552

556

Africa/Middle East

In Ethiopia, the government received the following offers under its 18 January tender for 35,000 tonnes of DAP, prices in $/tonne CFRLO bagged:

Ethiopia DAP tender 18 January 2011

Supplier/Origin

‘000t

CFRLO

JPMC/Jordan

35

634.12

Ameropa/Russia

35

662.27

Yara/OCP

35

675.80

Indagro/GCT

35

679.00

JPMC is expected to receive an award in the next few days.

In Morocco, OCP says it has sold a total of 20,000-25,000 tonnes of mainly MAP for January shipment to Europe in the $590s/tonne FOB equivalent for DAP. Destinations include the UK, France and Italy. OCP originally had an allocation of 40,000-50,000 tonnes for the European market but says that, due to a backlog of commitments arising from logistical constraints at the port, OCP will not be offering any more January tonnage as it executes existing business.

OCP is also heavily committed now for February with the following DAP/MAP cargoes booked or under discussion:

50,000 tonnes Ethiopia (old business)

40,000 tonnes Thailand (contract)

30,000 tonnes Africa

40,000 tonnes New Zealand (formula)

tonnes allocated to Latin America (mainly

50,000

Brazil)

A panamax to the US is currently under discussion with a trader

Assuming this all ships, OCP will have only 30,000-35,000 tonnes of DAP/MAP left available for February shipment, for which it says it is targeting $610-620/tonne FOB.

On TSP, it has emerged that OCP sold a cargo to the US in January priced under formula with Gavilon. It previously sold a 30,000 tonne cargo to Brazil at above $480/tonne FOB plus a cargo to Bangladesh under formula. It will additionally ship 12,000 tonnes to Ghana plus smaller lots to Europe.

OCP also says it has a 120,000 tonne TSP deal with Brazil for Q1 shipment which would effectively take the producer out of the market until the beginning of Q2, assuming production of 60,000-70,000 tonnes/month.

In Tunisia, GCT has sold a cargo of DAP for January shipment to Pakistan at a price thought to net back to the low $570s/tonne FOB. A vessel is understood to be berthing in Tunisia on Thursday 20 January.

There is considerable speculation about how the political situation is affecting phosphate production. Our information is that there has been minor disruption to output due to the curfew in place which is limiting the number of hours being worked by staff. Unconfirmed reports suggested that GCT was operating only one DAP line because of a bottleneck at its warehouse, although GCT has since stated that there has been no impact on output and shipments are proceeding as planned.

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20 January 2011

Ammonia OVERVIEW The bulls are still out in the ammonia market with Yuzhny hitting $460/tonne

Ammonia

OVERVIEW

The bulls are still out in the ammonia market with Yuzhny hitting $460/tonne FOB this week and suppliers looking for at least that level in new business. Production problems in Algeria and Trinidad are persisting, although there are expectations that operations could resume in the next few days. At the same time, demand from the US, Europe and North Africa is strong and is likely to remain so for the rest of the first quarter which will continue to support firm pricing.

Ammonia: Yuzhny Weekly Price $pt fob 950 850 Yuzhny ammonia prices jump to 750 $460/tonne
Ammonia: Yuzhny Weekly Price
$pt fob
950
850
Yuzhny ammonia prices jump to
750
$460/tonne FOB for February
650
550
450
350
250
150
50
J
AJ
OJ
A
J
O
J
A
J
O
J
08
09
10
11

Negotiations for the February Tampa price are due to get underway soon and, given higher Yuzhny prices and the continued plant outage in Trinidad, a significant increase is on the cards. Latest Yuzhny prices would imply a Tampa price of $510-520/tonne CFR, which would represent a $35- 45/tonne increase over the January level.

Middle East prices moved up this week following a Sabic spot sale at $417.50/tonne FOB, which had been expected following higher prices out of Iran for February shipment and price hikes elsewhere. These higher prices will translate into an increase in the Far East for next deliveries. Demand from Korea and Taiwan remains strong for the time being and prices are likely to continue to move upwards east of Suez.

Europe

In Yuzhny, a small lot of Ukrainian ammonia is has been sold to a trader, understood to be Trammo, at $460/tonne FOB for February shipment. This follows a sale of OPZ ammonia at $450/tonne FOB last week. Suppliers are now seeking a minimum of $460/tonne FOB in new sales.

Mitsui sold its Yuzhny cargo to Yara for end January shipment to Tampa on the Gas Columbia. The sale was made under formula on a CFR basis.

The AN plant at Gorlovka restarted 15-16 January and work is now taking place to stabilise production. NF Trading expects around 5,000 tonnes of January sales, understood to be for Trammo, will slip over until February due to reduced ammonia availability. There is expected to be 15,000-20,000 tonnes for February loading and the supplier is currently in talks with a trader.

OPZ continues to produce at two ammonia and two urea plants and has no plans for maintenance shutdowns. Monthly availability is put at around 50,000 tonnes. DniproAzot’s 5,000-6,000 tonnes of January availability is all being delivered to the domestic market. Meanwhile, Severodonetsk will only have around 10,000 tonnes available for February as two urea units are running.

Tank levels were fairly low mid week after the Hesiod completed loading, but sufficient tonnes are expected to be accumulated quickly for the Nitrochem vessels Gas Grouper and Gaz Providence to load over the next few days. The Gas Grouper has been waiting at the port since last week and is expected to berth on 20 January.

Yuzhny line up for January

Trammo/Turkey, Isra

15

Marycam Sw

1

Yara/Turkey

11.8

Marigola

3

Nitrochem/Belgium

23.3

Hugin

4

Nitrochem/Morocco

15

Gaz Provid

6

Trammo/Morocco

23.5

Brussels

8

Nitrochem/Belgium

16.5

Gent

10

Mitsui/Tunisia

23.5

Gas Columb

12

Yara/Turkey

11.8

Marigola

13-14

Nitrochem/NWE

23.5

Gas Snapper

15-16

Yara/NWE

40

Hesiod

19

Nitrochem/Belgium

23.5

Gas Grouper

20-21

Yara/Turkey

11.8

Marigola

22-23

Nitrochem/Morocco

15

Gaz Provide

23

Mitsui/US

23.5

Gas Columb

25

Trammo/?

23.5

Brussels

26

Yara/?

12

Havsol

31

313.2

Trammo is expected to bring the Touraine to Yuzhny to load in early February. The Hugin is also due back early next month to load for Nitrochem/Belgium, as are the Gas Snapper and Gas Grouper. Nitrochem will also load the Gaz Providence in February and the Clipper Mars for the US. Yara is expected to load the Marigola in early February.

In the Baltic , a small February cargo is reported to have been sold at $460/tonne FOB. There are also indications that $450/tonne FOB Baltic was concluded earlier.

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20 January 2011

ICIS pricing accepts no liability for commercial decisions based on the content of this report.
ICIS pricing accepts no liability for commercial decisions based on the content of this report.

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20 January 2011

The Havis completed loading 30,000 tonnes in Ventspils early this week for shipment to Taft,

The Havis completed loading 30,000 tonnes in Ventspils early this week for shipment to Taft, US, for Koch.

Acron is planning to produce some ammonia for export from Sillamae in February, which, combined with January volumes, would total around 8,000 tonnes. However, these tonnes would likely move under contract rather than be offered to the spot market.

There are expectations that Yara’s 500,000 tonne/year AN plant in Ambes, France , will restart in February. The unit went down in September 2010 for a turnaround and was initially expected to restart in December, however work proved to be more extensive than previously thought and restart was delayed until Q1 2011.

Africa

In Egypt , OCI-EBIC is currently returning around 15,000 tonnes of ammonia to EFC which was borrowed to load the Clipper Neptun. There are no cargoes lined up from OCI-EBIC yet for February, however there are likely to be two shipments.

Yara is due to load an 8,800 tonne Abu Qir/Alexfert cargo on the Pertusola 20-22 January. The destination of the cargo is not yet finalised, but there are indications it may go to Cuba.

In Algeria , the Chemico and Kellogg plants have yet to restart production. There are reported to be continuing attempts to restart and it is hoped that production will resume in the next few days.

In Tunisia , the Gas Columbia arrived at Gabes on 18 January and is under discharge, which is reportedly at slightly slower rates than normal due to a night-time curfew as a result of the political unrest in the country. For the time being, operations appear to be running normally. GCT’s next ammonia delivery is expected to be at the end of February following a planned repair on a receiving station at Gabes.

Middle East

ICIS is considering excluding Iranian prices from its Arabian Gulf FOB price and introducing a separate Iran FOB price. Please send any comments to rebecca.clarke@icis.com. In the meantime, we are not including Iranian prices in the Arabian Gulf FOB price range.

In Saudi Arabia, Sabic has sold 15,000 tonnes to Mitsui at $417.50/tonne FOB for first half February shipment to Taiwan.

Sabic completed loading the Rose Gas last week for shipment to Thailand and Indonesia. It is now understood the Al Barrah did not load for India and will instead load for SFC/Korea around 22 January. This takes January loadings to 69,000 tonnes. Sabic has made no shipments to India this month as price formulas are still being renegotiated.

In Iran, following its sale to Mitsui last week at $407/tonne FOB, PCC does not expect to have any more spot availability for February due to low inventories. Production at the Razi plants is reduced, with only two plants operating at the moment. It is understood one plant did not restart in January after maintenance. Gas supplies are reportedly reduced due to high domestic gas consumption.

The following cargoes are currently scheduled to load from Iran:

Gaschem Bremen, 22,000 tonnes for IFFCO/Paradeep on behalf of CIFC, 23-25 January

Tobolsk, 23,000 tonnes for PPL/Paradeep on behalf of CIFC, 25-29 January

Tilos, 23,500 tonnes for Mitsui/India, delayed until early February due to low inventories

15-23,500 tonnes for Mitsui, late February.

PCC sold the cargo already loaded on the Gaschem Stade jointly to Mitsui (6,000 tonnes) and Mitsubishi (17,000 tonnes) for shipment to Taiwan. The price was reportedly fixed on a CFR Far East basis, understood to be around $450/tonne CFR.

Qafco Qatar completed loading 15,000 tonnes on the Almarona for shipment to Taiwan on behalf of Mitsui. This cargo was sold under formula and is understood to be in line with current Far East prices.

The Almajedah loaded 11,000 tonnes from Shuaiba, Kuwait, and 4,500 tonnes from Sitra, Bahrain, under a swap with PIC this week for shipment to India. Mitsui is scheduled to load 10,000-15,000 tonnes on the Nisyros in Mesaieed 24-25 January in combination with 10,000 tonnes of PIC ammonia from Sitra, likely for shipment to the Far East. Trammo is due to load the Nijinsky in Mesaieed in late January.

In February, Qafco does not expect to have any spot availability and is committed with contract shipments to India and to South Africa.

Omifco Oman completed loading 21,000 tonnes on the Tobolsk on 17 January for shipment to India.

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20 January 2011

Asia In India , CIFC has agreed a price of $442.50/tonne CFR with 30 days’

Asia

In India, CIFC has agreed a price of $442.50/tonne CFR with 30 days’ credit with IFFCO for the 10,500 tonnes of Malaysian ammonia delivered to Paradeep on the Bunga Kemboja on 17 January. Mitco agreed a price of $443.75/tonne CFR with 60 days’ credit with Tata Chem for the 4,500 tonnes being delivered to Haldia on the same vessel.

Mitsui is understood to have agreed a price of $430/tonne CFR with its Indian customers for the Iranian ammonia delivered on the Gaz Serenity.

The Tobolsk delivered 21,000 tonnes of Omani ammonia to IFFCO/Kandla on 19 January.

The Gaschem Bremen is due to deliver 22,000 tonnes of Iranian ammonia to IFFCO/Paradeep 3-6 February under its long term agreement with CIFC.

PPL/Paradeep is due to receive 23,000 tonnes of Iranian ammonia on the Tobolsk 5-10 February under its long term agreement with CIFC.

In Korea, the following deliveries are due to be made to buyers:

-SFC-

23,500 tonnes of Saudi ammonia from Sabic on the Al

Jabirah, 18 January

9,000 tonnes from Mitsui on the Jag Viraj, 22 January

15,000 tonnes of Indonesian ammonia from Mitsui on the Nashwan, 26 January

15,000 tonnes of Indonesian ammonia from Mitsui on the Gaz Millennium, 27 January

23,500 tonnes of Saudi ammonia from Sabic on the Al Barrah, 8 February

-Namhae-

15,000 tonnes of Australian ammonia from Yara on

the Nordic River, 16 January

23,000 tonnes of Australian ammonia from Mitsubishi on the Berlian Ekuator, 25-27 January

25,000 tonnes from Yara, mid February

23,000 tonnes from Mitsubishi, 1-5 March

23,000 tonnes from Qafco, late March

-Huchems-

6,000 tonnes of Saudi ammonia from Sabic on the

Camberley, 22 January

In Taiwan, buyers continue to report prices in the $455- 460/tonne CFR range this week, but expect prices to rise by $10-15/tonne for next deliveries following higher prices in the Middle East.

CPDC received 15,000 tonnes on the Gaz Millennium from Mitsui 14-15 January and another 6,000 tonnes from Mitsui on the Jag Viraj 19-20 January. CPDC is also expected to receive 6,000 tonnes of Iranian ammonia from Mitsui on the Gaschem Stade 29-30 January and 15,000 tonnes of Qatari ammonia from Mitsui on the Almarona 30-31 January. These cargoes from the Middle East are expected to cover CPDC’s February requirements.

TFC is due to receive 16,000 tonnes of Saudi ammonia from Sabic on the Camberley on 27 January. Sabic is due to deliver 15,000 tonnes of Malaysian ammonia on the Bunga Kemboja around 20 February.

Formosa’s acrylonitrile plant is on schedule to restart on 27 January. Mitsubishi is due to deliver 17,000 tonnes of Iranian ammonia on 27 January. Formosa’s next requirement is expected to be in mid March.

In Indonesia, Mitsui is due to load 15,000 tonnes on the Gaz Millennium on 20 January for shipment to SFC/Korea and another cargo on the Nashwan for Korea and China.

There are indications that Sabic’s delivery to Petrokimia Gresik on the Rose Gas was agreed in the $460-480/tonne CFR range.

In Malaysia, the Bunga Kemboja is expected to return to Kerteh in early February to load for Map Ta Phut and Haldia and will then return to load 15,000 tonnes for TFC/Thailand under a swap with Sabic.

The shutdown at the Petronas plant is now expected to start in late February for around a month.

In Australia, the Burrup ammonia plant has been temporarily halted this week due to a power fault. The plant is expected to restart in around four days.

While the receivers of Burrup Fertiliser have not yet formally called for expressions of interest for the ammonia plant, over 20 serious inquiries are reported from various parties around the world and the receivers are considering a range of options for the sale process.

 

Direct Hedge Fertilizer Swaps Price Indications 20 January 2011

Ammonia

CFR Tampa

FOB Yuzhny

Buyers

Sellers

Buyers

Sellers

January

475

485

435

440

February

485

500

435

440

March

-

-

435

440

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20 January 2011

Americas In Tampa, negotiations for the February price are expected to start late this week/early

Americas

In Tampa, negotiations for the February price are expected to start late this week/early next week. A significant increase from the current $475/tonne CFR is largely expected following the recent hike in Yuzhny prices and reduced availability in Trinidad. Latest Yuzhny prices would suggest an increase of $35-45/tonne.

In the Midwest, the average retail price for ammonia has increased to $728/short ton delivered. Retailers report bookings of pre-pay ammonia for spring application are complete, although some farmers are expected to wait until March to order in the hope of lower prices.

Farm economics remain favourable, with corn prices closing at $6.41/bushel on 19 January as traders eyed food riots in North Africa and the Middle East.

Yara’s 525,000 tonne/year Tringen I plant in Trinidad has yet to restart production, but a resumption is anticipated in the next few days. The plant has been down since 31 December and an estimated 28,000 tonnes of ammonia have been lost during the outage.

In Venezuela, FertiNitro’s ammonia/urea production is still reported to be running at reduced rates due to a gas supply shortage. One train is reported to be down. It is understood that Koch will continue lifting product as usual, at least during the first half of 2011.

Sulphur

OVERVIEW

The Chinese sulphur market has rebounded and moved above $205/tonne CFR. However, other import markets have yet to catch up with this price spike.

This week, price indications in China have climbed following two sales made by Transfert and Interacid. Speculative traders are also back to the market, with some bidding as high as $215/tonne CFR. However, other import markets such as India and Brazil remain sluggish. Last done business in these two markets was at around $185-190/tonne CFR.

Such price discrepancy has been largely caused by speculative buying in China, and the question now is whether Chinese prices can climb further, and if the current level is sustainable. With over half of the stocks at China’s largest domestic port, Nantong, being held by traders, price volatility is likely to last.

More contracts conclusions have been reported. Some contracts held by Canadian suppliers have been settled at above $180/tonne FOB, while Italian suppliers report agreeing half-yearly sulphur contracts at around $150/tonne CFR with a North African buyer.

Middle East

In Iran, PCC reports selling 30,000 tonnes of sulphur 1-2 weeks ago for end January/early February shipment at an undisclosed price. No vessel nomination has been received yet. The producer expects to float its next sales tender in end February/early March. PCC last sold 30,000 tonnes of sulphur to Midgulf under its 17 December tender.

In Jordan, Mitsui recently sold 20,000 tonnes of spot sulphur to JPMC at around $179/tonne CFR for mid- January shipment sailing from Yanbu and Rabigh.

Asia

In China, the sulphur market is on fire. Fresh spot sales have been reported in the low-$210s/tonne CFR, up nearly $20/tonne from indications in the low-$190s/tonne CFR last week. Speculative traders are understood to have placed bids as high as $215/tonne CFR.

Quarterly contract negotiations are progressing slowly in China, and most end-users have turned to the spot market to secure products. Although no Q1 contracts between suppliers and Chinese buyers have been confirmed at press time, the lower end of the Q4 price range of $170- 190/tonne CFR is no longer valid.

Reported deals this week mostly fall in the $200-210/tonne CFR range:

Two speculative traders from Shandong and Jiangsu report purchasing 30,000 tonnes of granular Saudi sulphur each in the low-$210s/tonne CFR at Jiangsu port for late January/early February loading.

Interacid has sold a 30,000 tonne spot cargo ex-Jubail at $205-210/tonne CFR for end-January shipment.

Transfert has sold a 20,000-22,000 tonne Middle East sulphur cargo at $203-205/tonne CFR. The cargo will be loaded in end-January for Fangcheng or Nantong port.

Some point out that recent price movements were largely down to traders taking positions. There are few offers from traders, who are adopting a wait-and-see approach, expecting prices to rise further and unlikely to sell at low levels. Meanwhile, some end-users remain reluctant to buy citing high prices. With the Chinese New Year approaching in early February, there are expectations of price stability or further growth, as buyers will sooner or later have to restock for the spring season. However, some

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20 January 2011

remain cautious of the price outlook after the Chinese New Year holiday, worrying that current

remain cautious of the price outlook after the Chinese New Year holiday, worrying that current price spikes, largely caused by speculative buying, are unsustainable.

Total inventory levels in China have moved up to 1.91m tonnes, up 2%, or 50,000 tonnes, from 1.86m tonnes two weeks ago. At Nantong, stocks have climbed to around 423,000 tonnes, up from 360,000 tonnes two weeks ago, and more than half of it is in the hands of traders.

Domestic prices in China are surging. Some deals have been concluded at Rmb 1,600-1,650/tonne (equivalent to $195-202/tonne CFR) at Nantong, including the two 5,000 tonne cargoes bought by Itochu at close to Rmb 1,600/tonne. Price indications at Nantong were at Rmb 1,600/tonne last week.

In India, PPL has yet to finalise its 11 January tender. The buyer requested 35,000 tonnes of granular sulphur for 7-10 February shipment to Paradeep. Offers received were between the mid-$180s/tonne and $194/tonne CFR.

In the Philippines, Transfert has sold 27,000 tonnes of sulphur to Philphos at nearly $205/tonne CFR for first half February loading.

Africa

Qatar’s Tasweeq has confirmed that it will be a new sulphur supplier to OCP Morocco, adopting formula- based contract pricing. Monthly sulphur allocations will be flexible.

OCP is believed to still be in contract negotiations for Kazakh and Saudi sulphur. Other granular sulphur contracts had been agreed in the $160-180/tonne CFR range. For crushed lump sulphur, GPE/Austrofin reports settling in the $160s/tonne FOB with OCP. Quantities from Russia for this quarter will likely be limited, due to logistical problems caused by the closure of the river system.

An Italian sulphur supplier reports agreeing half-yearly solid sulphur contracts with GCT Tunisia at around $150/tonne CFR, up $65/tonne from the H2 2010 level of $65/tonne CFR. It is understood that quantities agreed are lower than in previous years, because more solid sulphur produced in Italy has been remelted for domestic consumption.

In South Africa, buyers report ongoing half-yearly contract talks. Canadian buyers continue to push for $200/tonne FOB.

America

In the US, Tampa contract negotiations for Q1 are underway, and major sulphur buyers expect prices to be higher than the Q4 2010 level of $160/long ton CFR. There are initial expectations of an increase of $25-30/long ton.

Refineries in the US are running well at around 85% of capacity. However, with many refineries in the Gulf area planning their annual maintenance turnarounds in February-March, domestic supply is expected to be very tight during that time. Prilling rates are also expected to be low during the turnaround period. Demand from the industrial and fertilizer side is healthy.

At Beaumont, two sulphur cargoes totalling 60,000-65,000 tonnes have been scheduled for loading in January.

With the river system in Russia expected to remain closed for the first quarter, it has emerged that GPE/Austrofin will only have one vessel of around 30,000-35,000 tonnes for Brazil for March loading under its quarterly contract with a major Brazilian buyer. The price agreed was in the $190s/tonne CFR.

Some contracts between Brazilian sulphur buyers and suppliers have been concluded at just below $190/tonne CFR.

In Canada, one sulphur supplier has confirmed settling some quarterly/half-yearly contracts at above the $180/tonne FOB.

 

Vancouver Sulphur Exports Tonnes

 
 

Dec 10

Jan-Dec 10

Jan-Dec 09

Australia

-

504,000

439,000

Brazil

40,000

168,000

230,000

Chile

53,000

60,000

68,000

China

64,000

1,501,000

2,445,000

Cuba

-

174,000

176,000

Indonesia

-

58,000

43,000

Israel

48,000

215,000

108,000

- New Caledonia -

Mexico

104,000

145,000

55,000

41,000

New Zealand

-

115,000

68,000

South Africa

72,000

508,000

357,000

USA

-

96,000

-

TOTAL

278,000

3,562,000

4,123,000

Total sulphur exports at Vancouver in 2010 dropped 14% to 3.562m tonnes, from 4.123m tonnes in 2009. The drop in deliveries to China was significant in 2010, down 40% to 1.501m tonnes, from the 2.445m tonnes shipped in 2009. In December 2010, China bought 64,000 tonnes of

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20 January 2011

Canadian sulphur, compared to 132,000 tonnes in November. The 52% drop was caused by weak

Canadian sulphur, compared to 132,000 tonnes in November. The 52% drop was caused by weak demand from Chinese end-users, as they withdrew from the market in preparation for quarterly sulphur contract negotiations. The December total of 278,000 tonnes of sulphur exports was down nearly 40% from the 463,000 tonnes recorded the year before, and down 9% from the 304,000 tonnes shipped in November. The decrease had been expected, following the shut down of the Shantz sulphur forming facility in early December 2010.

Europe

In northwest Europe, more quarterly contracts have been concluded. Most sulphur buyers confirm that quarterly prices have been agreed in the $165-185/tonne delivered range. Sulphur buyers have had to accept higher prices to secure sulphur for downstream production, on the back of tight supply in northwest Europe. Prices are up around $25/tonne from last quarter’s prices at around $140- 160/tonne delivered.

BASF expects its sulphur demand to increase following its acquisition of Cognis Holding GmbH in early December 2010. The quantity of additional sulphur required is still under evaluation, but BASF is expected to procure sulphur under contract terms.

The closure of a 70km stretch of the river Rhine, in Germany, following a ship carrying 2,378 tonnes of sulphuric acid capsizing on 13 January, could last for three more weeks. No sulphur-related vessel disruptions have been reported so far.

In Russia, GPE/Austrofin remains in talks with buyers in Lebanon and Israel. Its contracts with North African buyers were previously reported in the mid/high- $170s/tonne CFR, netting back to the high-$140s/tonne FOB and the low-$150s/tonne FOB Black Sea, with freight rates indicated at $25-27/tonne.

ICIS PentaSul Sulphuric Acid prices $/’000 tonne

 

14 Jan

7 Jan

Chile

spot

CFR Mejillones

140-150

140-150

US Gulf ex-terminal

130-140

130-140

To find out more about ICIS PentaSul’s range of pricing reports and services for the sulphur and sulphuric acid markets, please e-mail allison.farone@icis.com.

Potash

OVERVIEW

China remained the focus of attention this week as the market is on hold for other producers to follow BPC and finalise agreements with Chinese importers.

It is widely expected that Canpotex will make a formal announcement regarding its agreements with China before the end of the week but at press time there was no confirmation.

Markets elsewhere were mostly quiet both in terms of international trade as well as activity in local markets, including China where the domestic market has not yet reacted to the setting of the international price.

Europe is the exception however as demand for the spring application season is healthy and buying is expected to continue into March. Prices of €330-335/tonne CIF, initially announced by K+S in December, are now mostly established in the region.

Asia

In China, Canpotex is expected to make an announcement regarding its long-term contracts with Chinese buyers before the end of the week. At press time there was no official announcement but it is expected that the producer will come to a similar agreement to the BPC contract signed last week.

The price will be close to $400/tonne CFR and negotiated every six months with quantities also expected to be in line with BPC’s agreement, 600,000 tonnes over 6 months and 120,000 tonnes of optional quantities.

The $400/tonne CFR price announcement has not yet had an impact on the Chinese domestic market which is mostly stable. However, some ongoing transport problems in local markets have put a little upward pressure on domestic potash prices.

Migao and SQM announced the start of production at their joint venture 40,000 tonnes/year potassium nitrate plant in Sichuan, China. Migao also expects that the construction of a 40,000 tonnes/year potassium sulphate plant in Shanghai will be complete this quarter and production is due to begin in March.

In Southeast Asia, shipments of standard MOP agreed in December at $430/tonne CFR are ongoing. Producers are now focusing on fulfilling these commitments and are understood to be mostly sold out for Q1.

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20 January 2011

In Thailand , BPC sold 10,000 tonnes of granular MOP at $450/tonne CFR for February

In Thailand, BPC sold 10,000 tonnes of granular MOP at $450/tonne CFR for February shipment.

In Indonesia, some large plantations are negotiating MOP supply contracts for second quarter shipment. These are expected to be finalised next month.

Domestic prices are stable at approximately $500/tonne FOT but availability is tight.

In Sri Lanka, further to last week’s report, the 7 January Ministry of Agriculture tender was awarded to Midgulf at $516/tonne C&FFO with 270 days’ credit. Midgulf will supply Ceylon Fertilizer Company with 12,000 tonnes of MOP for delivery in May 2011.

Europe

In Europe, demand for spring application is healthy and several sales of small volumes are understood to have been agreed at €330-335/tonne CIF, in line with K+S’ granular MOP price.

Tessenderlo is on hold for further clarity in sulphur prices to set its SOP prices for the quarter. The producer is understood to be targeting prices close to €395/tonne FOB for granular and €375-380/tonne FOB for standard SOP.

In the UK, Sirius Minerals Plc acquired York Potash Ltd. Various agreements have been signed covering an area in North Yorkshire of over 600km2, where York Potash Ltd has been analysing the potential to develop a new potash project, the York Potash Project. The company has an exploration target of 330-400m tonnes of 35-40% of potassium chloride (KCL). The region is also where ICL’s Boulby potash mine, is located.

In Germany, K+S has been forced to cut production at its Sigmundshall site because of damage to a shaft conveyor. It is expected that production will be reduced until early February and that 70,000 tonnes of potash and magnesium products will be lost. The producer says it will try to make up for the shortfalls by using supplies from other sites.

K+S successfully completed an acquisition of a majority stake in Potash One. K+S bought 81% of Potash One at $4.55 per share (see Stories).

In Russia, Uralkali and Silvinit released their production figures for 2010. Uralkali produced approximately 5.1m tonnes of KCL, 1.9 times higher than 2009 production levels. Silvinit produced 5.2m tonnes of KCL last year, 1.5 times the amount produced in the previous year.

Americas

In the US, the domestic market is quiet and prices remain stable at $475-485/short ton FOB Nola depending on the origin of the material. Canadian barges are priced towards the upper end of the range while the lower prices are for Russian barges.

US domestic prices are still significantly above international levels and are expected to remain this way as buyers will need to secure potash for the spring application season.

In North America, according to TFI data, December inventory levels increased by approximately 356,000 tonnes (in nutrient terms) from the previous months but stocks were 14% below the previous five year average.

In Brazil, BPC sold a further 6 cargoes of approximately 50,000 tonnes each of granular MOP for February shipment. Prices are in line with recent sales to the market, at $440-450/tonne CFR for large and small buyers respectively.

In Colombia and Venezuela, BPC is shipping one 25,000 tonne cargo in February and a second cargo of the same size in March. Prices are slightly above the $440-450/tonne CFR established in Brazil.

News

Cargill to vacate majority stake in Mosaic

US agribusiness major Cargill said on Tuesday it plans to vacate its 64% ownership position in Mosaic in a deal that could be worth $24.3bn (€18.2bn). Cargill and Mosaic, both based in Minnesota, jointly announced a transaction that would result in the distribution of Cargill's 286m share position in Mosaic to Cargill's shareholders and debt holders. The $24.3bn figure was calculated using the $85.07/share closing price of Mosaic shares on Tuesday at the New York Stock Exchange. The deal would leave Mosaic without a major shareholder. Cargill said it plans to exchange approximately 179m of its 286m Mosaic shares with Cargill shareholders for all or a portion of their Cargill stock. Cargill expects to exchange all of its remaining 107m Mosaic shares for Cargill debt owned by third parties. Pursuant to a ruling from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the transaction is expected to be tax free to Cargill, Mosaic and their respective shareholders, Cargill said. "This transaction will bring significant benefits to our company and shareholders," Jim Prokopanko, Mosaic chief executive officer, said.

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20 January 2011

"Going forward, we will be better positioned to capitalize on the positive outlook for ou

"Going forward, we will be better positioned to capitalize on the positive outlook for our industry, retain our market leading positions and reinforce our existing competitive advantages," said Prokopanko. The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2011, the companies said. Cargill, which markets Mosaic fertilizer products to its farmer customers, said it would continue its commercial relationship with Mosaic. The move could also make Mosaic, the world’s largest producer of phosphate fertilizers, more attractive for a takeover, sources said. “The transaction provides Mosaic with a free hand to control its own destiny without the overhang of a majority shareholder," said Prokopanko. "That includes the possibility of an acquisition by another company, but no such dialog has taken place."

Safco to study potential new urea plant…

Saudi Arabian Fertilizers Co (Safco), and affiliate of SABIC, will carry out feasibility studies for the construction of a new urea plant – Safco V – at its complex in Jubail, the company said on Monday. The potential new plant would have an annual urea capacity of 1m tonnes and Safco would aim to start production by the second half of 2013. The possible new venture came about after Safco and another SABIC affiliate, steel producer Hadeed, cancelled a plan to build a steel plant in Jubail after feasibility studies were “not encouraging”. “Safco announces that it has decided not to proceed with the implementation of the agreement [to build the steel plant]…Alternatively, Safco will carry out feasibility studies for the construction of a new plant (Safco V) in its complex in Jubail, for the production of urea with an annual capacity of 1m tonnes,” the company said in a statement to the bourse.

…posts higher Q4 net profit on prices

Safco nearly tripled its net profit in the fourth quarter buoyed by higher prices, according to a statement from the company. Safco made 1bn riyals ($266.7m) in Q4, up from 376m riyals in the same period last year, but revised its net profit for Q4 2009 to 335m riyals. “The rise in profits for 2010 and the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the same periods the year earlier…is due to improving prices of petrochemical products and increasing sales,” it said. Operating profit and gross profit for Q4 both rose by 156%, reaching 896m riyals and 918m riyals respectively. Full year net profit rose 79% to 3.2bn riyals.

K+S acquires 81% stake in Potash One…

Kali & Salz (K+S) has acquired an 81% majority stake in junior potash miner Potash One for Canadian dollar (C$) 4.50 ($4.55) a share, the German fertilizer producer said on Wednesday. K+S offered C$4.50 for each outstanding common share of Potash One and a total of 78,802,378 shares were tendered, the company said in a statement. “All of the conditions to the offer have been satisfied or waived,” it said. K+S extended its offer period for the takeover of Potash One to 4 February, the statement added. The board of Potash One unanimously recommended the offer to its shareholders. The deal would give K+S, which has been facing pressure to secure new reserves as demand for potash picks up, access to several exploration licences Potash One has for the food-growing nutrient in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

nutrient in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Published by ICIS, Part of Reed Business Information Ltd

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ICIS accepts no liability for commercial decisions based on the content of this report.

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20 January 2011

Prices are in US $pt except where specified NITROGEN 20 Jan 13 Jan Urea prilled

Prices are in US $pt except where specified

NITROGEN

20 Jan

13 Jan

Urea prilled bulk

Yuzhny FOB Romania FOB Baltic FOB Arab Gulf FOB Vietnam/SE Asia CFR NW Europe €pt FCA China FOB bagged

362-378

375-380

380-385

380-390

355-370

355-370

390-395

390-395

400-415

395-410

335-340

330-335

385-390

380-390

Urea granular bulk (spot)

Arabian Gulf FOB Arab Gulf US netback FOB Yuzhny FOB Malaysia FOB China FOB SE Asia CFR Egypt FOB NW Europe €pt FCA Caribbean FOB US Gulf ps ton FOB US Gulf metric CFR equiv

395-400

395-400

381-387

384-392

395-400

390-395

395-400

395-400

400-410

395-410

410-420

410-420

420-425

420-425

345-355

340-356

375-390

385-395

378-383

380-388

412-418

415-423

Nitrates

AN Baltic FOB bulk AN B Sea FOB bulk AN France € deld bulk AN UK FCA £ bagged AN FOB Nola ps ton CAN Germany € cif blk UAN France € FCA 30% UAN FOB B Sea 32%** UAN FOB Nola ps ton 32%

300-305

300-310

300-305

305-315

345-355

310-315

305-320

272-287

330-340

320-330

252-275

243-252

228-230

226-228

280-290

275-285

285-295

290-295

Am. Sulphate bulk

Black Sea FOB (white) Brazil CFR sight SE Asia CFR

218-220

218-220

245-255

250-260

205-210

205-210

Natural Gas

Nymex $/mmBtu NW Europe TTF $/mmBtu

4.56

4.49

8.82

8.65

AMMONIA

20 Jan

13 Jan

Yuzhny FOB Arabian Gulf FOB Caribbean FOB US Gulf CFR Tampa CFR NW Europe CFR duty unpaid North Africa CFR India CFR Taiwan CFR Korea CFR

450-460

425-430

405-418

405-410

435-440

435-440

478-480

478-480

475

475

500-510

475-480

490-500

465-470

430-445

430-445

460-470

455-460

480-490

475-480

** low end dutiable product

PHOSPHATES

20 Jan

13 Jan

DAP bulk

US Gulf FOB Nola ps ton FOB barge North Africa FOB Jordan FOB Baltic FOB China FOB Pakistan CFR Benelux FCA €

588-600

590-600

545-552

545-550

572-590

575-590

500-520

500-520

560-580

560-575

600-610

590-610

620-620

590-595

440-450

440-450

MAP bulk

Baltic Sea FOB Brazil CFR sight

570-590

570-590

605-610

605-610

TSP bulk

North Africa FOB

480-485

475-480

NPK bulk

Russia 16.16.16 FOB China 16.16.16 CFR

390-420

390-420

415-420

415-420

Phos Acid P2O5 fert grade

N Africa FOB NW Europe CFR India CFR cash

660-760

660-760

950-1000

950-1000

830-830

830-830

Phosphate Rock

Morocco 70-72 BPL FOB India CFR

150-160

150-160

130-175

130-175

POTASH

20 Jan

13 Jan

MOP bulk

Vancouver standard FOB Vancouver gran FOB Israel/Jordan standard FOB Baltic standard FOB China CFR SE Asia CFR Brazil gran CFR NW Europe € gran CIF

320-375

320-375

335-410

335-410

310-380

310-380

360-395

347-395

350-400

350-400

430

405-430

440-450

440-450

330-335

317-335

SOP bulk

NW Europe € FOB

360-385

360-385

SULPHUR

20 Jan

13 Jan

Vancouver FOB (spot) Vancouver FOB (contract) Middle East FOB Mediterranean CFR spot North Africa CFR contract China CFR India CFR Black Sea FOB

170-185

160-170

170-185

55-160

155-180

155-173

140-150

65-90

150-180

160-180

190-210

170-193

185-195

185-195

140-155

130-150

Liquid

Tampa CFR lton Benelux delivered

160

160

165-185

168-190

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20 January 2011