Fertile Grounds for Fertilizer Markets

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A new paradigm in global trade gradually materializes in response to the quid pro quo tariff lashings that now characterize Sino-American commerce. Some commodities, such as nitrogenous fertilizers, may now be primed to claim more attention.

In 2018, soybeans exceeded corn in acreage planted across the United States (US) for the first time since 1983. However, due to the recently levied tariffs against US soybeans imposed by the Chinese, analysts expect corn to rebound to predominance in 2019. Corn demands considerably more fertilizer than soybeans, and most notably greater amounts of nitrogen. Taking this into account, urea prices have ballooned 49 percent over the past year. If fertilizer demand increases, prices for other sources of nitrogen such as urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) and anhydrous ammonium nitrate might also follow suit. Historically, the US has been a net importer of nitrogen fertilizers, so if the predicted trend continues, US fertilizer markets could see increased activity in the coming months.

Global fertilizer markets are expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 3.9 percent through 2024 to $150 billion following economic and agricultural development. Gro Intelligence provides subscribers a platform to stay up-to-date on global fertilizer trade and inputs.

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