Urea Prices Continued to See a Trend Reversal
For the week ending March 17, 2017, urea prices were still negative. Read Here’s What’s Ahead for Nitrogen Investors for recent trends in nitrogen prices. Urea prices have been under pressure due to excess capacity.
Although anthracite facilities in China have been shut down, new thermal capacity has been added. The new capacity had a net positive impact on capacity growth in the region. Let’s see how urea prices performed last week.
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Last week, movement in granular urea prices was negative week-over-week—at the three locations in the above chart. Average urea prices fell 2.5% from the previous week. In the Middle East, granular urea prices fell 4.1% to $210 per metric ton week-over-week. NOLA (New Orleans) granular urea prices fell 1.9% to $188 per metric ton—compared to the previous week. Urea prices in the US Corn Belt fell 1.6% week-over-week to $224 per metric ton.
Urea is one of the most frequently used nitrogen fertilizers (XLB) globally. According to the International Fertilizer Industry Association, urea accounts for 56% of all nitrogen fertilizers consumed globally. CF Industrial Holdings (CF) is one of the largest nitrogen fertilizer producers.
For an in-depth overview of the agricultural fertilizer industry, read Agricultural Fertilizer Industry: Your Comprehensive Overview.
Companies such as CF Industrial Holdings, Terra Nitrogen (TNH), CVR Partners (UAN), and PotashCorp (POT) could benefit from rising nitrogen prices. Granular urea prices at the three locations in the above chart fell 10.9% YoY (year-over-year).
In the week ending March 17, prilled urea prices fell 2.8% to $235 per metric ton in the Yuzhny area of Ukraine. Prices in Yuzhny have risen 21% YoY. Next, let’s take a look at natural gas prices—the key input for nitrogen fertilizers.