Market Morsel: Where did the fertiliser go?

Inputs | 3rd October 2023 | By Andrew Whitelaw

Market Morsel

In recent months, EP3 has written a bunch of articles about how Australia has been importing record levels of urea. One of the comments we have made is that whilst there are record levels of imports, they might not all be in the right place.

As always, as analysts, we like to delve further into topics to see if we can get a clearer picture of the market.

So, let’s look at where the fertiliser has been going in the country.

There are some caveats with this data, in that the data is based on the value of fertiliser imports, not the volume, and not refined to fertiliser type. It is there to give a trend. The value of imports has been strong so far this year.

The first chart below shows the average annual composition of fertiliser in each state, along with the 2023 composition. We can see that WA has seen a large increase in the value of fertiliser being imported in comparison to the other states.

The second chart displays the annual imports, and we can see the sharp increase in imports into Western Australia relative to the other states.

This follows anecdotal information that WA has struggled less with access to fertilisers than the other states.