Market Morsel: How urea going to handle this?

Inputs | 18th December 2023 | By Andrew Whitelaw

Market Morsel

The data for urea imports to the end of October has been released. The imports of urea have been a topic of contention all year, as we hear of shortages in supply.

We have been at the forefront of fertilizer analysis in Australia, providing the only independent analysis. When we heard the annual rumour of urea shortages, we decided it was time to start reporting on import volumes.

The first chart below shows the import volume of urea, we have included a theoretical volume in the previous years to show what was domestic production in the now-shuttered IPL Gibson Island facility.

We can see that imports hit 3mmt for the period Jan to October. This is a record import volume – and higher than any previous full-year total with two months of data still to add.

The second chart below shows the import price with a one-month lag, along with our modelled urea price. Urea pricing has increased in recent months, but our model shows that we may see a decline for the import value in the next month or two.

It is important to note that the modelled price has been accurate (so far), but it is still a model.

As we go through 2024, we will continue to report on import volumes.

(AI-Generated image)