Phosphate fertilizers have been weaker year-over-year compared to potash and nitrogen fertilizer prices. With companies curtailing their production volumes, let’s look at how the overall prices of phosphate fertilizers performed during 4Q17.
Prices by company
Overall, phosphate prices (MOO) managed to trend higher year-over-year in 4Q17 as we see in the above chart. Mosaic (MOS) saw the biggest gain in its average selling prices for phosphate DAP (diammonium phosphate) fertilizer. For example, Mosaic’s average DAP selling prices rose as much as 10% to $348 per metric ton from $317 per metric ton. Similarly, Agrium (AGU) (NTR) saw its selling prices for the phosphate wholesale segment by 4% year-over-year to $436 per metric ton from $420 per metric ton. PotashCorp (POT) also saw its average phosphate selling prices increase 4% year-over-year to $342 per metric ton from $328 per metric ton a year ago.
Note that Israel Chemicals doesn’t provide details on selling prices. The easing of supply in a market that had been burdened by the oversupply of phosphate products should support prices. However, Mosaic stated that its phosphate prices rose as a result of removing about 1.4 million tons of production capacity from the global supply by idling its facility in Florida.
Next, we’ll discuss phosphate margins.