Urea rises again
After a brief pause in the direction two weeks ago, urea prices found positive momentum last week at both locations including Brazil and NOLA (New Orleans) US. The positive momentum in urea prices seemed just around the corner with most of the companies including CF Industries (CF), Nutrien (NTR), CVR Partners (UAN), and Mosaic (MOS) indicating a slowdown from Chinese producers (XLB). Both new government regulations and rising energy prices have put pressure on Chinese nitrogen producers lately.
In NOLA, urea prices rose ~0.9% week-over-week to $203 per metric ton from $183 per metric ton. The urea price is still relatively far from the recent peak of $230 per metric ton (or $254 per short ton). Moving over to Brazil, prices in this region also bounced significantly last week by as much as 5.1% to $249 per metric ton from $237 per metric ton.
Last week’s strength in urea prices adds to the year-over-year gain in each of these locations. In NOLA, last week’s 10.1% rise in prices took the year-over-year increase to 33% from $153 per metric ton in the same week of 2017. Similarly, prices in Brazil rose by as much as 19% week-over-week.
Next, we’ll discuss natural gas prices.