Semi-Annual Global Fertilizer Outlook: Waiting for Demand

The plummeting cost of raw materials, growing production capacity, and mediocre demand have pressured global price indicators of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash to fall either to or near ten-year lows. Decreasing energy prices have been one of the biggest impacts of Covid-19 on the fertilizer complex. Reduced mobility and restrictions have forced prices of natural gas and, to a lesser extent, coal down 46% (UK NG ICE) and 11% (ZCE Thermal Coal), respectively.

Report summary

Heavy supplies of all nutrients continue to weigh on prices. Late in the first quarter, uncertainty created a lift across most international price benchmarks. DAP increased 16% (US Gulf) during February and March in response to shutdowns and the associated supply risk of Chinese phosphate. Once Chinese production resumed, prices again quickly retreated.

“We expect that there is little upside for prices over the next six months across the nutrient complex. With relatively cheap inputs, utilization remaining at low levels, and our outlook for commodity prices also staying low, we expect this low price environment will continue for at least the next six months”, says Matheus Almeida, Senior Analyst – Farm Inputs.

A Covid-19-related interruption to global production and/or supply chains remains the most prominent risk for fertilizer prices over the next six months. At the farmgate, this may lead to sharp, short-term price rises, if shortages arise.

  • Matheus Almeida

    Senior Analyst – Farm Inputs
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  • Dirk Jan Kennes

    Global Strategist - Farm Inputs
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  • Wesley Lefroy

    Analyst - Agriculture
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  • Jingyan Sun

    Analyst - Farm Inputs
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  • Ankur Raj

    Analyst - Farm Inputs
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  • Samuel Taylor

    Analyst - Farm Inputs
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  • Harry Smit

    Senior Analyst - Farm Inputs
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  • Chia Kai Kang

    Associate Analyst – Farm Inputs
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  • Elizabeth Lunik

    Analyst - Farm Inputs
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