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Nitrates Fertilizer Market and Price Analysis

Nitrate fertilizers are, next to urea, an important nitrogen source for crops around the world. The three main nitrate fertilizers – urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), ammonium nitrate (AN) and calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) – in contrast to urea, contain nitrogen in the nitrate form, which can be directly taken up by plants.

Key facts about the nitrates fertilizer market
  • Around 35-40% of global UAN production is traded each year with the United States having tripled exports between 2014 and 2019.
  • Russia is by far the largest producer and exporter of fertilizer-grade AN, holding an about 45% share in global exports each year.
  • CAN consumption and trade is concentrated in Europe where Germany is by far the largest importer on a global scale, taking around 2 million tonnes per year or about one-fifth of the global import market each year.
  • The global UAN market has grown by more than 6.2 million tonnes, or close to 40%, over the past decade, mainly driven by the United States, which is by far the largest market for UAN around the world.
  • Nitrate prices generally move in step with urea as this is the main competition product, although prices can move in different directions on the back of structural or fundamental changes in one of the markets.

Key themes affecting the nitrates fertilizer market

General duties on AN imports as well as anti-dumping duties on AN and UAN imports in Europe continue to be major drivers of nitrates trade flows in Europe and around the world. Other policy changes, particularly around security issues with AN, will continue to impact this market in major importing hubs such as Brazil and could lead to shifts in consumption patterns. Meanwhile, changes in environmental policies, such as nitrates directives in Ireland and Germany, are already and will continue to impact CAN consumption in these countries.

Capacity additions and closures will continue to shift the supply/demand balance, particularly for AN.

We are also closely monitoring developments in feedstock markets including natural gas and coal to determine the production cost base for nitrate fertilizers and the marginal cost of supply.

One of the key drivers of nitrate fertilizer prices continues to be urea, the main competition product, and we monitor this market very closely and take developments there into account when producing our price forecasts for nitrate fertilizers.

Moreover, we monitor developments in the shipping sector, such as the IMO 2020 regulation, to determine their impact on nitrate fertilizer freight rates, which will in turn impact our delivered cost estimates at key destination markets.

International Nitrates prices and consumption volumes
 UAN NOLA (per short ton)AN fob Baltic/Black Sea (per tonne)CAN cif Germany inland (per tonne)Global UAN consumption (million tonnes)Global fertilizer-grade AN consumption (million tonnes)Global CAN consumption (million tonnes)
2017$120-$200$160-$230€225-€26521.421.315.1
2018$150-$225$150-$210€145-€23022.221.414.8
2019$135-$200$170-$205€165-€22021.921.614.8

Solutions

At IHS Markit we offer market-leading nitrates fertilizer information solutions via our globally recognised Fertecon service. Specialists in offering comprehensive data and analysis across the global fertilizer market, with current, short-term and long-term solutions to support all operational needs in your organisation.

Current price reports
Weekly Report

Keep abreast of the nitrates market and spot new opportunities with our weekly market report. Key benefits include reliable price discovery, news on key developments, and trade statistics and news alerts.

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Monthly Futures Report

Plan for the mid-term and make smarter investment decisions with our nitrates market intelligence. Key benefits include global market overview, major company news, and trade statistics alerts.

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Quarterly Market Reports

Steer your business in the right strategic direction with this in-depth quarterly report on the nitrates market, forecasting out 10 years. Key benefits include comprehensive market analysis, price, supply demand and trade forecasts, and coverage of hot topics.

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API and Data Feeds

Pricing, supply-demand and forecasts on the nitrates market delivered directly to your organisation to support centralised models and trading systems used by team members across your business.

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One-time Data Exports

Over three decades of historical nitrates pricing, production and trade data across all core nutrients available to purchase to support your organisation with strategic analysis and economic modelling.

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Consulting services spanning all your needs in the fertilizer markets, from long-term forecasting beyond what is available in our subscription services to market studies for financial investments reviewing everything from market forecasts to competitor intelligence.

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