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Nitrates Fertilizer Market and Price Analysis

Nitrate fertilizers are, next to urea, an important nitrogen source for crops around the world. The three main nitrate fertilizers – urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), ammonium nitrate (AN) and calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) – in contrast to urea, contain nitrogen in the nitrate form, which can be directly taken up by plants.

Key facts about the nitrates fertilizer market
  • Around 35-40% of global UAN production is traded each year with the United States having tripled exports between 2014 and 2019.
  • Russia is by far the largest producer and exporter of fertilizer-grade AN, holding an estimated 45% share in global exports each year.
  • CAN consumption and trade is concentrated in Europe where Germany is by far the largest importer on a global scale, taking around 2 million tonnes per year or about one-fifth of the global import market each year.
  • The global UAN market has grown by more than 6.2 million tonnes, or close to 40%, over the past decade, mainly driven by the United States, which is by far the largest market for UAN around the world.
  • Nitrate prices generally move in step with urea as this is the main competition product, although prices can move in different directions on the back of structural or fundamental changes in one of the markets.
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Key themes affecting the nitrates fertilizer market

Higher production costs in Europe, a key producing and consuming region, ensured that prices increased sharply during the last months of 2021 – in some cases however still forcing marginal producers to bring maintenance and turnarounds forward.

Tensions at the Russia/Ukraine border during early 2022 present an important risk to international supply, while a petition for imposing countervailing duties on Russian and Trinidadian UAN continues in the United States.

The long-term prospects for nitrates demand are subject to considerable upside risk in the broader context of decarbonization, especially should carbon-based urea need to be replaced in some consuming markets.

International Nitrates prices and consumption volumes
 UAN NOLA (per short ton)AN fob Baltic/Black Sea (per tonne)CAN cif Germany inland (per tonne)Global UAN consumption (million tonnes)Global fertilizer-grade AN consumption (million tonnes)Global CAN consumption (million tonnes)
2017$158$193€19021.421.315.1
2018$184$185€19922.221.414.8
2019$163$182€19821.921.614.8
2020$127$161€16823.122.216.2
2021$338$321€34022.321.615.1

Solutions

At IHS Markit we offer market-leading nitrates fertilizer information solutions via our globally recognised Fertecon service. Specialists in offering comprehensive data and analysis across the global fertilizer market, with current, short-term and long-term solutions to support all operational needs in your organisation.

Current price reports
Weekly Report

Keep abreast of the nitrates market and spot new opportunities with our weekly market report. Key benefits include reliable price discovery, news on key developments, and trade statistics and news alerts.

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Short-term price forecasts
Monthly Futures Report

Plan for the mid-term and make smarter investment decisions with our nitrates market intelligence. Key benefits include global market overview, major company news, and trade statistics alerts.

Long-term market outlooks
Quarterly Market Reports

Steer your business in the right strategic direction with this in-depth quarterly report on the nitrates market, forecasting out 10 years. Key benefits include comprehensive market analysis, price, supply demand and trade forecasts, and coverage of hot topics.

Bespoke solutions
API and Data Feeds

Pricing, supply-demand and forecasts on the nitrates market delivered directly to your organisation to support centralised models and trading systems used by team members across your business.

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One-time Data Exports

Over three decades of historical nitrates pricing, production and trade data across all core nutrients available to purchase to support your organisation with strategic analysis and economic modelling.

Consulting

Consulting services spanning all your needs in the fertilizer markets, from long-term forecasting beyond what is available in our subscription services to market studies for financial investments reviewing everything from market forecasts to competitor intelligence.

Fertilizers - Nitrates Experts

Mark Astley

Mark Astley is responsible for researching and writing IHS Markit's weekly current information report on the ammonia market. He also contributes to the bi-weekly European fertilizer report.Mark joined Fertecon, acquired by IHS Markit in 2019, in October 2016 and since then his main area of focus has been nitrogen, covering the nitrates fertilizer market for four years and contributing regularly to urea market coverage before assuming editorship of the weekly ammonia report.After graduating with a BA in Broadcast Journalism from Staffordshire University and prior to joining Fertecon, Mark worked as editor of a dairy industry news website and as a deputy section editor at a leading British agriculture magazine.

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Birgit Schulz

Ms. Schulz has been working as a fertilizer market analyst since May 2014 after a few years as a commodity analyst specialising in coffee and renewable chemicals at IHS Markit Agribusiness - FO Licht. Her main area of focus in the fertilizer sector has been nitrates - including upstream (natural gas, ammonia, urea) and downstream (fertilizers, industrial) industries. Over the years she has been the editor of the long-term nitrates analysis including demand forecasting, cost estimation and price forecasting, before taking on the role of editor of the monthly short-term outlook reports for fertilizers at IHS Markit Agribusiness, now part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.Before IHS Markit Agribusiness - FO Licht, she worked at Henkel, a leading chemical company. She holds a Master of Science in International Economics from the University of Essex, United Kingdom, as well as a Bachelor of Science in International Business and Management from the Fontys Hogescholen in Venlo, Netherlands. She's a native German speaker, fluent in English, and able to understnad some Spanish.

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