Prices continued to benefit from the tight supply/demand situation for February/March. Brazil paid $30 more for MAP, NOLA prices increased $15 for DAP and European buyers were forced to pay higher prices up to $455-460 fca Benelux.
Granular prices in North Africa and the Middle East gained ground in February, the former finding demand in Europe and the US and the latter pushing tonnes East to fill out the line up and Iran finding a good outlet in Turkey China remained on the sidelines.
Prices have continued to decline as excess supply east and west continued to put pressure on the market. This came despite news that CNC was not operating in Trinidad, later in the month joined by Tringen that went down with an outage.
The coming weeks are likely to be crucial for setting the tone for the remainder of 2018 as Chinese contract negotiations get underway. News that Canpotex is seeking a $40/t increase speaks to the bullish sentiment amongst suppliers today and many market participants expect spot prices to remain broadly at around January/February averages through at least H1.
OUTLOOK: Stable/Firm in the short term
Business was limited with China out of the market for much of February due to the holiday season, and prices were largely stable. Softening was seen in the Med and North Africa due to lower than usual demand with both OCP and GCT having lower production rates than usual over February.
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