For the First Quarter of 2022
The average price of yellow phosphorus was valued at 37000 RMB/MT in March 2022 in China.The yellow phosphorus market continued to expand. The trading mood was generally positive, but items were in short supply. The upstream phosphate rock was in high demand while the raw materials were in short supply. Inquiries from downstream were increasing, necessitating replenishment. Overall, market confidence was high, upstream and downstream support was robust, and new order transaction prices were higher.
For the Fourth Quarter of 2021
In the fourth quarter of 2021, the prices decreased. The market as a whole was generally deserted, the downstream wait-and-see attitude was strong, and the phosphorus yellow market was weak and dropping in volume. Generally, inquiries were made only on the basis of demand. Due to a decline in domestic production of yellow phosphorus, China's producers imported a certain amount from Vietnam. The increase in short-term demand increased the FOB prices in Vietnam.
After nearly two months of bullishness, yellow phosphorous prices in Vietnam finally stabilised. Prices for December were hovering around 7,500 USD/MT. The chemical’s market prospects in Vietnam improved significantly after Chinese authorities' production restrictions and stringent power curtailment measures reduced the country's phosphorus production to half of what it was last year. Prices in Vietnam increased by almost 70% in November compared to the beginning of the year. Yellow phosphorous prices reached new heights as a result of surging Chinese coal prices and low product stocks reported by Asian purchasers.
The European market for yellow phosphorus had some respite in the fourth quarter of 2021, as bids from Southeast Asian and Chinese providers relaxed as freight expenses were reduced and operational rates in China recovered significantly. However, the raw material market in Europe had been severely hit by the ongoing energy crisis, and Russian authorities' export quotas had created fears about a supply glut in the downstream fertiliser and batteries electrolytes industries. As a result of this ripple effect, offers on the European domestic market remained stable until the fourth quarter of 2021.
The market in North America stabilised after surging to an all-time high at 7.33 USD/kg in October to 6.33 USD/kg by December end due to cost support from high freight rates. However, the domestic market in the United States remained buoyant due to seasonal demand from downstream fertilisers and EV batteries end-use sectors. Whereas supplies were constrained by delayed delivery from Southeast Asia, and several authorities worldwide restricted the export of ammonia and phosphate-based fertilisers, the growing food price index boosted yellow phosphorus market sentiments in the US domestic market. In November, a prominent participant in the United States imported 240 tonnes of the chemical on a contractual basis at a price of 4700 USD/MT.
China is a major supplier of fertilisers, supplying urea and phosphates to the agricultural sector, which are critical inputs for maize and soybean production in North and South America. Export restrictions are anticipated to further constrain supplies and raise prices, increasing farmers' input costs or forcing some to grow without fertilisers, thereby reducing yields. Brazilian farmers are also suffering considerable cost pressures from growing input costs, which are being exacerbated by a mix of increased demand, rising inland freight rates, and supply shortages. Brazilian producers, particularly those who grow soybeans, are also concerned about the supply of glyphosate, with yellow phosphorus serving as a major component in the herbicide's manufacturing.
For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021
In January 2021, the average price increased by 2.01% to 16,900 RMB/MT. The domestic phosphate ore market was generally stable in terms of raw materials. Entrepreneurs primarily fulfilled pre-orders and tightened pricing operations. The price increase could be attributed to people's cautious reaction to the resurgence of the COVID-19 wave. Companies producing the chemical were averse to selling and insisted on high-priced operations. Yellow phosphorous prices decreased the following March due to a lack of market demand. It was priced at 28,000 RMB/MT in September 2021. With the publication of the Yunnan Provincial Development and Reform Commission's Notification on Energy Consumption Control on September 11, the price skyrocketed to 65,000 RMB/MT.
This was due to the fact that its production in China is concentrated in the south-western provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Hubei which uses hydroelectric power generation as the primary source of electricity. The dry season in Yunnan was longer than previous years (December to May), due to which electricity generation was impacted. In May 2021, Yunnan's power restrictions deteriorated again, affecting a sizable portion of the yellow phosphorus market, which was forced to reduce or stagger production. With this backdrop, yellow phosphorous prices began to noticeably increase in mid-May, intensifying market supply tensions as the market essentially lacked sufficient inventory to meet demand.
Due to the start of the spring season in Europe, demand for Diammonium Phosphate increased significantly in the agricultural sector. This increase in demand, both domestically and internationally, resulted in an increase in the price of yellow phosphorus, a critical raw material for DAP. In the second quarter of 2021, increased global demand for diammonium phosphate drove yellow phosphorous prices higher in Europe. Additionally, during Q3 2021, a surge in the global market for phosphoric acid impacted yellow phosphorous prices in Europe.
Glyphosate prices in the United States have more than doubled since last year. Yellow phosphorus is a key component in the manufacture of glyphosate. Inflationary pressures were being driven by two factors. The first was Hurricane Ida, which hit Louisiana in August, a place which produces yellow phosphorus. The second factor was China's full-fledged energy crisis.
Yellow phosphorous prices increased exponentially from 3.6 USD/kg in January to 6.57 USD/kg by September end and further to 7.33 USD/Kg in October.
The demand from downstream fertiliser producers was strong during the second quarter, as the domestic agriculture sector expanded in May and June. Additionally, significant demand for DAP from European and Asian countries increased worldwide phosphorus consumption, which aided in the rising trend of the product's pricing curve. Yellow phosphorous prices increased significantly in the third quarter of 2021 in the South American region, owing to persistent demand for agricultural products. The trend in the pricing of phosphate-based fertilisers was upward across the region, owing to the increase in the price of the chemical.
For the Year 2020
China is the world's largest producer of yellow phosphorus, with an installed capacity of 1.48 million tonnes. Additionally, it is the world's largest supplier. The production in China is concentrated in the South-Western provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Hubei. Yellow phosphorous prices decreased in March 2020. At the beginning of the month, the average price was 17,700 RMB/MT, while at the end of the month, the average price was 16,500 RMB/MT. The price decreased by 6.78% during the month. This reduction was attributed to a lack of downstream demand. The phosphate market's operating rate was also low. In July 2020, the price of phosphorus yellow in the Yunnan-Guizhou area increased by 2.74%, to 15,000 RMB/MT, as industries resumed operations following a lengthy shutdown. Following that, prices remained relatively stable for a year.
The demand in Europe remained modest, despite the fact that it is a critical feedstock for the manufacture of fertilisers. Due to transportation constraints and the spread of COVID 19, agrochemical production remained minimal. Strong demand during the spring season resulted in increased imports and prices by the end of Q4 2020.
The United States of America is the world's second largest producer of yellow phosphorus. Its prices increased in early Q4 2020 due to a supply shortage. The shortage was caused by a decrease in production as a result of hurricane damage in October.
In January the price stood at 2.55 USD/kg which was quite stable with a gradual decline during the first two quarters post which, the prices recovered for the next two quarters reaching a year-end value of 2.59 USD/kg.
Phosphorous demand increased as a result of good agricultural production in the United States. With numerous government programmes aimed at reviving the struggling economy, demand remained significantly higher than producer forecasts. South American sales remained constant in Q4 2020, with product prices maintained at higher levels to offset recent losses. Traded volumes remained constant as the fertiliser market was impacted by fewer phosphoric acid exports due to port congestion near the quarter's end.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Yellow Phosphorus. 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 Yellow Phosphorus for several regions, which are as follows:
About Yellow Phosphorus:
Phosphorus is a chemical element and elemental phosphorus exists in two major forms- Yellow Phosphorous and red phosphorus. In general, phosphorus has a smell similar to that of garlic. Yellow Phosphorous is a soft, waxy solid, which is the most important form of elemental phosphorus. This allotrope is the least stable, the most reactive, and the most volatile one. It is not miscible in water but is miscible in carbon disulphide.
Yellow Phosphorous production process is an electrothermal process, and thus, the amount of energy required during its production is very high. The most important source in the production of Yellow Phosphorous is phosphate rock, which is also known as fluoroapatite.
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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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