Phosphoric Acid Prices (Q4 2021)
In October, the market remained mostly constant, with some modest decreases in quotations based on their own inventory situation. There were few companies quoting in the market on the first day following the holiday, but the price of the raw material phosphorus yellow was momentarily steady, and most companies had no quotations. Because there was some replenishment demand in the downstream, the price of supporting phosphoric acid remained high.
The market in North America remained consolidated in the fourth quarter of 2021, with manufacturer offers fluctuating throughout the period. The main cause for this market shift can be linked to the low reliance on Chinese suppliers for fertiliser exports as well as enough domestic production. The North American demand outlook was bolstered by a paradigm change in the chemical’s market trend from fertilisers to electric vehicles. As a result, the FOB USA quarterly average was set at 1650 USD/MT at the end of the quarter.
Middle East and Africa
Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP), a Moroccan producer, agreed to 1,330 USD/MT CFR phosphoric acid contracts with its joint venture partners for Q4 delivery to India. The price was up 70 USD/MT from the third quarter's CFR price of 1,160 USD/MT, making it the sixth increase since WHO designated COVID-19 a pandemic.
Phosphoric Acid Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)
Due to the poor performance of the Asian fertiliser sector during this time, local demand for the chemical in the region remained low. Despite increased demand from European countries, the buying trend in the region remained strong. To guarantee larger profits, several manufacturers chose to export rather than keep it for the home market. The closure of the Suez Canal had an influence on regional trade. Several shipments of the chemical were delayed during this time. Prices grew by 4.8% in the Indian market from January to March.
The price of yellow phosphorus rose in July, owing to electricity rationing in Yunnan, due to which the price of phosphoric acid also increased. In August, demand for the chemical in India remained high, backed by strong offtakes from domestic DAP factories, while supply remained insufficient to meet demand. Its scarcity caused a spike in the overall price of various phosphate fertilisers in India, where the government was attempting to limit downstream fertiliser prices to relieve home farmers of the burden. In the third quarter of 2021, the (fertiliser grade 51.75%) price was recorded at 1220 USD/MT.
Due to the spring season, Europe's domestic fertiliser sector saw a reasonable demand, while domestic supplies remained insufficient to meet overall domestic demand. As a result, import demand in the region remained high, causing prices to effectively climb. Meanwhile, a severe cold spell in the United States decreased the availability of phosphoric acid in the region, prompting traders to shift their reliance from the United States to Asian countries. The price increased in key European countries the second quarter, owing to strong demand from the downstream fertiliser business. Following severe weather conditions in the previous quarter, Europe's agrochemicals sector showed signs of recovery. The price of the chemical rose as a result of the increased demand from fertiliser makers. Furthermore, as a result of the global price increase, cargoes arriving in Europe from Asia were also quoted high, exacerbating the overprice problem.
During Q1 2021, freezing weather disrupted production activities across the US Gulf, resulting in a large spike in phosphoric acid costs. Due to freezing weather and poor crops, demand from the fertiliser sector remained low over the period. Meanwhile, throughout the spring season, export demand from European countries was high, despite the fact that trading activity was largely halted. Prices in the United States increased from 615 USD/MT in January 2021 to 645 USD/MT in March 2021. They rose across North America, owing to strong demand from both the domestic and worldwide markets.
Demand from downstream fertiliser manufacturers was strong throughout the quarter, as the domestic farming sector picked up steam in May and June. Furthermore, high DAP demand from European and Asian countries pushed up worldwide demand, supporting the pricing curve's upward trajectory. The price peaked in the first week of June, hovering about 690 USD/MT in the United States.
Phosphoric Acid Prices Overview 2020
Due to its usage in the production of phosphate fertilisers, the chemical’s demand in the Asian market from countries such as China and India remained consistent in Q4. A major player reported increased operating rates at its White Phosphoric Acid (WPA) factory in China, with commercial food-grade acid production expected to begin by the end of Q1 2021. The regional offers were kept in an appropriate range due to pent-up demand from the textile and sugar sectors mills. The price of phosphorus remained consistent, ensuring a stable price for the chemical. In Q4 of 2020, Indian businesses reported increased utilization of the chemical in a variety of industrial applications, with local pricing hovering around 713 USD/MT.
In Europe, the prognosis for phosphoric acid had been rather stable. Players reported significant demand in the European region, with consumers aggressively replenishing to make purchases for the spring season, hence prices its were raised. Because the fertiliser industry was the least affected by the pandemic, its large usage in the production of phosphate fertilisers raised demand in Q4 of 2020. Imports of WPA were found to be high, owing to a significant improvement in food grade phosphates and stable industrial salts.
The demand for the chemical increased as crop yield in the United States improved. It remained significantly above producer projections despite multiple government attempts to bolster the stressed economy. In the fourth quarter of 2020, North American phosphoric acid sales were stable, with product prices maintained at higher levels to offset prior losses. The fertiliser market was impacted by fewer exports of the chemical, as well as port-related congestions, which were heard towards the end of the quarter.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Phosphoric Acid. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.
Procurement Resource provides prices of Phosphoric Acid for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
About Phosphoric Acid:
Phosphoric Acid, better known as orthophosphoric acid, is a weak acid. It is known to be a non-toxic compound which, in its pure form, appears as a colourless solid. The crude Phosphoric Acid can be prepared from phosphate rock, but it is of low purity. All the 3 hydrogens are acidic to varying degrees and can be lost from the molecule as H+ ions (protons).
Chemical Formula of Phosphoric Acid:
In order to produce Phosphoric Acid through the dihydrate process, a rection between tricalcium phosphate and concentrated sulphuric acid is carried out at high temperature conditions. This forms calcium sulphate as the byproduct, which is in its dihydrate form. Finally, dihydrate calcium sulphate is removed by filtration, leaving behind Phosphoric Acid.
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The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).
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