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Argus Monthly Ammonia Outlook

 

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OUTLOOK

The month ahead
Prices are forecast to remain soft for the rest of June and weaken further in July, dampened by limited demand from east Asia and Europe in the face of strong supply availability...

The next 3-6 months
A continued reduction in Yuzhny availability and uncertainty over Sorfert’s production capacity may lend support to falling prices by providing some stability or slowing the rate of decline, while the start-up of the ammonium phosphates unit at Ma’aden’s Wa’ad Al Shamal facility in Saudi Arabia may provide some support to Middle East prices...

12 months forward
New US capacity coming on line at the end of 2017 will further increase domestic supply and reduce import requirements in 2018, while a rise in southeast Asian supply will cause prices to remain weak into 2018...

                   

OUTLOOK SUMMARY

The next three months
Ammonia prices are expected to weaken further in the next three months, dampened by limited demand from east Asia and Europe in the face of strong supply availability from Yuzhny, the US and the Caribbean...

The next 3-6 months
The continued reduction of supplies out of Yuzhny and uncertainty over Sorfert’s production capacity may lend support to falling prices by providing some stability or slowing the rate of decline...

6-12 months forward
The start-up of the 2,000 t/d PT Panca Amara Utama ammonia plant in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, is scheduled for November 2017 and is expected to boost Asian supply from the first quarter of 2018...

                    
 

REGIONAL OUTLOOK

Black Sea 
Yuzhny prices fell to $260-300/t fob on 1 June, compared with $300-310/t fob a month before, after resisting the downward pressure from falling prices in other regions for most of May... 

Baltic Sea
Spot supply remains limited out of Sillamae and Ventspils, with no trades for June spot cargoes emerging... 

US 
The monthly ammonia contract price agreed between Norwegian firm Yara and US-based Mosaic fell sharply to $265/t cfr for June, down by $65/t from the contract price settled in May, and follows Mosaic’s mid-May purchase of a 23,000t spot cargo for late June delivery at $260/t cfr Tampa... 

North Africa 
Sorfert’s stand-alone ammonia plant has been off line since 22 March and will continue to be so until the end of June as the producer seeks replacement parts for factory equipment... 

Middle East
The Middle East fob assessment dropped from $350-380/t fob at the start of May to $290-320/t fob at the beginning of June... 

Asia
Slow demand and ready spot availability led to east Asia cfr prices decreasing sharply throughout May to fall below $300/t cfr...

India
The Indian cfr range dropped from $355-400/t cfr on 4 May to $310-350/t cfr on 1 June, reflecting weakening contract prices out of Yuzhny and the Middle East on the high end and falling spot prices on the low end...
                  

RELATED MARKETS

Ammonium phosphates
The phosphates market going forward is diverging...

Caprolactam
China is adding 1mn t of caprolactam (CPL) capacity in 2017, in a 5mn t/yr global market...

Acrylonitrile
The European acrylonitrile (ACN) market remained tight through May, on maintenance shutdowns and strong demand...

                 

PRODUCTION

Production costs
Ukrainian state-owned gas company Naftogaz lowered the May gas price to 6,214-6,902 hryvnia/’000m3 from HRN6,396-7,097/’000m3 in April... 

Plant updates    
Indonesia – The 2,000 t/d PT Panca Amara Utama (PAU) stand-alone ammonia plant project in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, is expected to start up on schedule in November...       

                 

GLOBAL AMMONIA BALANCE FORECAST

A number of revisions have been made to the global ammonia market balance, which continues to reflect the market moving into a surplus in the fourth quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018, driven by a seasonal fall in demand and new merchant ammonia capacity starting to enter the market at the end of 2017...

                                                            

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