Viewpoints 2019: Fertilizer

Author Stuart Penson, Senior Editor, Metals

Argus editors analyse what to watch for in the fertilizer markets as 2019 begins.

Argus presents a series of Viewpoint articles analysing key market-moving trends and developments from across the fertilizer sector, and providing a forward-looking view into 2019. The Viewpoints cover key market themes including the divergence of the Americas ammonia market, India’s rising domestic urea production, a potential spring rally for the US phosphates market, competition heating up in the Asian NPK market, the potash supply demand balance and weakness in the global sulphur market.

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Viewpoint: Americas ammonia markets to diverge
The US Corn Belt ammonia market is poised to remain buoyed through the first quarter despite mounting pressure in the export market, as supplies in the Caribbean and US Gulf build following muted US autumn demand.

Viewpoint: Asia NPK market to heat up in 2019
Competition among sellers in the Asian NPK market is set to heat up next year as rising exports from China meet increased domestic capacity within the region.

Viewpoint: Phosphate eyes spring rally after fizzle
The domestic phosphate market continues to adapt to lower output, a trend that is poised to linger into the first quarter of 2019 despite carryover volumes and rising imports.

Viewpoint: Potash sellers make hay while the sun shines
By any measure, 2018 has been a strong year for potash suppliers, who have seen substantial price rises in Asia and elsewhere.

Viewpoint: Rising Indian urea output to test imports
Indian demand for imported urea could fall from 2019 as the country takes a step forward in its aim to become self-sufficient by increasing its own domestic production. But scepticism runs high, as it is rare for new urea units to start up and achieve full production on schedule.

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Viewpoint: US urea demand supportive for spring prices
Strong US farmer demand in the spring will likely support the US urea market, which has sharply declined since October.

Viewpoint: Weak global sulphur market weighs on US
Negotiations for the first quarter Tampa sulphur settlement will heat up amid a cooling international market, with prices on a downward trend around the globe at the end of 2018.

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