Urea price soared by +46% in October 2021, reaching $612.5 per tonne, according to the latest World Bank’s data. The spike was caused by a sharp slump in the world’s production, as many producers have suspended manufacturing owing to skyrocketing natural gas prices and energy resource shortages. Russia, China and Egypt remain the key urea suppliers, while India, Brazil and the U.S. lead the world import ranking.
Global Urea Price Trend
According to World Bank’s data, from September 2021 to October 2021, the global urea price jumped from $418.75 per tonne to $612.5 per tonne. Since the beginning of this year, the global price increased more than twofold, from $265 per tonne in January to $612.5 per tonne in October. In 2020, the global average urea price estimated at $229.1 per tonne. The rapidly growing cost of energy resources, primarily natural gas, has not only led to a rise in urea cost but has also resulted in the work suspension of fertilizer manufacturing plants around the world.
Global Urea Exports by Country
Global urea exports fell to 48M tonnes in 2020, declining by -2.9% y-o-y. In value terms, urea exports dropped from $14.5B in 2019 to $12.7B in 2020.
Russia (7.3M tonnes) and China (5.5M tonnes) represented the key exporters of urea in 2020, recording approx. 24% and 18% of total exports, respectively. It was distantly followed by Egypt (3.1M tonnes), Indonesia (2.4M tonnes), Malaysia (2.1M tonnes) and Ukraine (1.5M tonnes), together creating a 30% share of total exports. The following exporters – Poland (1.3M tonnes), the Netherlands (1.3M tonnes), Germany (1.2M tonnes), Canada (0.8M tonnes) and the U.S. (0.8M tonnes) – together made up a further 18% of the total exports.
Over the last year, urea exports from Russia and China rose by +4.5% y-o-y and +10.2% y-o-y, respectively, while the supplies from Egypt dropped by -29%.
In value terms, Russia ($1.5B), China ($1.4B) and Egypt ($891M) constituted the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2020, with a combined 51% share of global exports.
World’s Leading Urea Importers
In 2020, India (11M tonnes), distantly followed by Brazil (7.1M tonnes), the U.S. (4.5M tonnes), Turkey (2.5M tonnes), Australia (2.4M tonnes) and Thailand (2.4M tonnes) represented the major importers of urea, together committing 63% of total imports. Mexico (1.4M tonnes), France (1.4M tonnes), Argentina (1.1M tonnes), Spain (0.9M tonnes), Italy (0.9M tonnes), the U.K. (0.9M tonnes), and South Korea (0.8M tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.
In value terms, the largest urea importing markets worldwide were India ($2.9B), Brazil ($1.9B) and the U.S. ($1.2B), with a combined 47% share of global imports.
Source: IndexBox Platform