Overview

The global market for compound NPKs is one of the most important and dynamic markets in the fertilizer sector. Around 20pc of a total market of over 100mn t was traded between countries in 2023. This traded volume is growing relatively quickly, with an increasing number of fertilizer producers entering the market or expanding their supply base to meet demand from a rising number of buyers. Growth from consumers is well founded on fundamentals. Farmers are under ever-increasing pressure to improve their yields and crop quality, and to use fertilizers efficiently, not only to manage costs but to limit potential environmental losses.

Greater agricultural sophistication is bringing an increasing variety of grades to the market. Producers are also striving to move from commodity grades, such as 15-15-15, to more specific formulations (often tailored to specific customer needs) to increase nutrient-use efficiency and capture market share. 

The impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict has also seen major shifts in trade flows, given Russia’s significant compound-NPK capacity, and Russian-origin product has long been seen as a benchmark for high-quality NPKs. Russian exports have been seen shifting from Europe to India, and this is reflected in NPK & NPS grades and trade.

Argus has decades of experience covering the NPKs market. We incorporate our multi-commodity market expertise in key areas including nitrogen, phosphates, potash and sulphur to provide the full market narrative.

Argus support market participants with:

  • Weekly NPKs price assessments, proprietary data and market commentary
  • Bespoke consulting project support

Latest NPKs news

Browse the latest market moving news on the global NPKs industry.

Latest NPKs news
19/07/24

India's June NP/NPK output and sales up, imports down

India's June NP/NPK output and sales up, imports down

London, 19 July (Argus) — India's output of NP/NPK fertilizers rose on the year in June, while domestic sales climbed sharply, but imports fell. June NP/NPK production rose by 4.9pc on the year to 917,400t, as imports decreased by 5.4pc to 264,000t, provisional government data show. Sales under India's direct benefit transfer (DBT) system reached 1.343mn t last month, up by 51pc year on year. The data for trade and production imply total NP/NPK stocks in India of just over 5.168mn t at the end of June, down by 3.1pc on the month and 1.6pc on the year. Domestic NP/NPK production in April-June — the first three months of India's 2024-25 financial year — reached almost 2.512mn t, up by 2.9pc on the corresponding period of 2023-24. April-June DBT sales were up by 42.1pc on the year at 2.185mn t, while imports decreased by 20.1pc to 709,000t, the data show. India's import market for complex fertilizers has been in a quiet phase as participants focus on a pricing-based impasse around DAP . A resolution of the DAP situation should in turn lead to a rise in import activity around NPS and NPK grades, including key formulae 20-20-0+13S and 10-26-26. Prices for these products are set to climb in next business, in line with a general firming of the global market for complex fertilizers. By David Maher Indian NP/NPK stocks, output, imports, and DBT sales Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Latest NPKs news

EU fertilizer industry calls for support: Q&A


17/07/24
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17/07/24

EU fertilizer industry calls for support: Q&A

London, 17 July (Argus) — As the EU gears up to install a new European Commission for 2024-2029, LAT Nitrogen's chief executive officer Leo Alders tells Argus political support remains necessary to tackle a range of challenges threatening EU industry, including subsidised US ammonia production with carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS), and the EU's 'unrealistic' goal of cutting net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 90pc by 2040. But Alders sees growing political "goodwill" to help EU industry against cheap fertilizer imports from Russia, which are used to fund the country's war against Ukraine. Edited highlights follow. What does the fertilizer industry want from the next European Commission? Clear points are effectively releasing emissions trading system (ETS) funds for converting the industry to green fertilizers. We also want carbon sequestration to be allowed as it is in the US. And we need a policy on nutrient efficiency, which has never really happened. For us, too, spillage is not the desired objective. The international context, too, is important. Grey ammonia produced in Europe could move to the same cost levels as US blue ammonia with subsidised CO2 sequestration. If or when that happens, then Europe will see massive imports of US blue ammonia. We think that by 2027 or 2028, volumes coming out of the US will grow exponentially. That's a trend that we think is unstoppable. The underlying issue, of course, is that energy in Europe is at higher price levels than on any other continent. We need to stay in Europe with our production capacity. But the threat is there. Are 90pc GHG cuts by 2040 feasible for you? When discussing the ETS measures, the carbon border adjustment mechanism, and so on, we took a positive approach as an industry. And we go alon g with the zero [carbon] target for 2050. That's all right. But now the [2040] target is not official, more a desired milestone that emissions will be cut by 90pc by 2040. As an industry, we think that target is totally unrealistic and cannot support it. That's a clear point of view. Converting to a green industry will require massive capital. Technologically, it takes time to do all of this. Is the ETS working well for the fertilizer industry? Proceeds from ETS certificates go partly to national budgets and partly to the EU budget. That's all nice. But our industry needs to invest massively to complete the transition. We pay massive amounts of money for CO2 certificates. There was the promise that national and EU levels would subsidise decarbonisation projects from the ETS. In reality, we've seen very few subsidies materialising. So we actually have a counter-proposal: why not allow the industry to park the money for green investments? In theory, the national level is obliged to reinvest 50pc of ETS income back into the industry. The reality is different. Isn't the EU still wary of prohibitive €100-150/t tariffs on Russian fertilizers? A ban on Russian fertilizer imports would require unanimity. Tariffs, though, require majority support among EU states. That seems feasible. At least 15 states appear to support the idea. There is actually no supply issue. We don't have any issues replacing Russian volumes. There may be a possible time element and rebalancing in the first three or four months. But after that, the European industry would be fully capable of supplying our farms. So political support is growing? More and more people understand how Russian gas is being transformed into fertilizer. They've understood that routing gas to Europe is becoming more and more difficult. The EU has been totally unsuccessful in pushing back against Russian urea, so Russia is building some 650,000 t/yr in extra capacity, expected on line next year or thereafter. As an industry, we don't want to be shutting down units in Europe because of cheap subsidised Russian fertilizers. And then, what happens if one day Russia decides to cut or weaponise fertilizer supplies? By Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Brazil, Bolivia sign fertilizer agreement


10/07/24
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10/07/24

Brazil, Bolivia sign fertilizer agreement

Sao Paulo, 10 July (Argus) — Brazil and Bolivia signed a cooperation agreement on 9 July to trade fertilizers and sodium chloride (NaCl). The agreement came after Brazilian president Luiz Inacio da Silva visited Bolivia earlier this week. The deal was struck by Brazil's agriculture and livestock ministry and Bolivia's hydrocarbons and energy ministry. The deal not only sets rules for fertilizer and NaCl sales between the countries but also intends to promote energy integration between the neighbors. According to the deal, the parties will communicate with each other its own availability of urea, NPK, potash, slow-release urea and NaCl between each other according to needs; evaluate how to execute sale contracts; identify potential clients and possible destinations of fertilizers and NaCL; and cooperate on marketing strategies. The agreement will run for five years and may be extended for the same period. By João Petrini Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Fertistream buys Africa-focused Nutrisource


05/07/24
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05/07/24

Fertistream buys Africa-focused Nutrisource

London, 5 July (Argus) — UAE-based trading firm Fertistream has acquired Singapore-based Nutrisource and its fertilizer assets in Africa. The deal includes the purchase of Nutrisource's new 200,000 t/yr blending unit in Togo. The unit has 60,000t of storage capacity for raw materials and 30,000t for finished product. Production of blends at the facility is expected to begin in the fourth quarter, for sale to the local region. The new unit will have the ability to produce high-phosphate NPK blends, which are in demand in the region, as well as tailored blends to meet the needs of regional crops and soils. The unit is north of the port of Lome, enabling it to supply neighbouring countries, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Benin and Mali. Fertistream has sold almost 500,000t of fertilizers to African markets so far this year, and the acquisition will further strengthen the company's position in the continent, especially in west Africa. By Nykole King Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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India's RCF receives no offers in NPK tender


01/07/24
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01/07/24

India's RCF receives no offers in NPK tender

London, 1 July (Argus) — Indian fertilizer importer RCF received no offers against its tender to buy 50,000t of 15-15-15 and 30,000t of 10-26-26, which closed on 29 June. The tender, issued on 20 June, requested shipment by 25 July to the east coast of India. Demand for high-phosphate NPK grades, such as 10-26-26 and 12-32-16, is expected to pick up as Indian buyers look for alternatives to DAP, which currently holds a $99.50/t premium over 10-26-26. This grade was last assessed at $436-443/t cfr India duty free/duty paid on 27 June. India's stocks of NP/NPK edged up to 5.3mn t at the start of June on higher imports and production. By Nykole King Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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