uploads/2017/11/Urea-Prices-2017-11-21-1.jpg

Urea Price Update for the Week Ending November 17

By

Updated

Urea prices

Last week, urea prices in each of the regions covered in this series were broadly negative week-over-week. While urea prices were in the red last week, they have held up well for most of the year.

Weekly movements

Last week, urea prices at the Yuzhny location fell as much as 4.1% week-over-week to $256 per metric ton from $267 per metric ton a week ago, according to the weekly price report issued by Mosaic (MOS). Similarly, prices in the Middle East fell as much as 3.6% week-over-week to $240 per metric ton from $249 per metric ton.

At the NOLA (New Orleans) location, prices fell as much as 3% to $205 per metric ton from $211 per metric ton.

Year-over-year change

So far this year, urea prices have held up well. At the Yuzhny location, urea prices have risen 16% YoY (year-over-year) from $220 per metric ton. At the Middle East location, urea prices have risen 3% YoY from $232 per metric ton.

This year’s rise in urea prices in most regions came from the lower supply from China. Chinese producers have taken off their production capacity due to rising regulatory pressures and the energy cost, especially coal. Weakness in global urea prices might have acted against Chinese producers. It wasn’t sustainable to produce urea at a relatively higher cost.

At NOLA, urea prices fell 1% YoY last week from $207 per metric ton. The North American (MOO) prices have been pressured by increased imports coming from offshore producers.

Price outlook

For the remainder of the year, CF Industries (CF) expects urea prices to remain volatile. For 2018, PotashCorp (POT) expects the volatile prices to continue, which could have a negative impact on companies like Terra Nitrogen (TNH).

In the next part, we’ll discuss natural gas prices.

More From Market Realist