Last week, urea price movements were broadly positive with prices in the Middle East experiencing strong gains week-over-week. On the other hand, prices in Egypt ended lower during the same period.
Last week, granular urea prices in the Middle East rose ~2.4% week-over-week to $255 per metric ton from $249 per metric ton a week ago. Similarly, in NOLA (New Orleans), granular urea prices rose 0.8% week-over-week to $229 per metric ton from $227 per metric ton a week ago. In Egypt, granular urea prices fell week-over-week by 1.1% to $264 per metric ton from $267 per metric ton a week ago.
CF Industries (CF) stated in its recent 4Q17 earnings call that urea imports and UAN (urea ammonium nitrate) had fallen due to lower price realization. Lower price realization has impacted not only CF Industries but also Terra Nitrogen (TNH), CVR Partners (UAN), and Nutrien (NTR).
Lower imports (XLB) could have triggered the price appreciation for granular urea in the US, as the pressure from the supply side has eased up. Last week prilled urea prices rose 0.87% to $232 per metric ton from $230 a week ago.
Next, we’ll discuss natural gas prices, a key component of nitrogen fertilizer.