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CHS Crop Nutrients Market Wire
spacer May 12, 2011    


Northwest Region Market Update

Northwest Region Market Update

The end of the planting season is in sight in the Pacific Northwest, where terminals are starting to run out of product. There has been good product demand across the board in western Montana, Idaho and Oregon. Fieldwork is underway in much of South Dakota and parts of southern North Dakota, with product moving to the field and some terminals beginning to run low, especially of urea and 10-34-0. In busy areas, CHS is doing everything it can to get product to customers.

In northwestern North Dakota and eastern Montana, many farmers are still waiting for fields to dry out. If planting doesn’t take place in the next week or two there could be some crop changes. In eastern North Dakota, along the flooded Red River, some acres might not get planted at all this spring. According to this week’s USDA Crop Progress report, only three percent of corn acres have been planted in North Dakota and 17 percent in South Dakota.


In This Issue

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The Inside View

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by Cathy Eckman
Director, marketing and operations

You've got mail!

Every morning when I arrive to work I’m amazed at the quantity of data that floods my mailbox every night. I’m guessing you have the same dilemma, too much information and too little time. Or, as is so often the case, information that isn’t worth your time!

Well, we don’t want to be guilty on that last account. That’s why we’ve revamped our weekly electronic news publication to make it more timely, a faster read, and more relevant. This issue of Crop Nutrients Market Wire is the first to combine our Market Wire (a weekly) and Crop Nutrients News (bi-weekly). By combining the two, that’s one less email newsletter in your mailbox.

What we won’t reduce is the quality and timeliness of the information. Our regional sales and supply teams will continue to give you the immediate information on markets and the head’s up on what’s critical to your business. You can also look for continued comment and analysis from our staff of risk management, transportation and global supply experts.

This newsletter will be posted under the crop nutrients tab at www.chsinc.com. In addition to publishing market information, we’re connecting with customers through personal meetings, industry trade shows and summer outings, CropLife magazine advertising with a link to our website and through our own C magazine, both the print and online versions.

As always, we greatly value your business and appreciate your ongoing support.



Nola price: $385–$390/st FOB  •  Price outlook: Steady in nearby; chance of summer drop
Domestic market: The market moved higher this week, as fieldwork got underway in many parts of the country. Logistical problems, due mainly to river flooding and limited product movement, as well as the condensed planting season, are likely to keep pressure on urea prices through the month. While about 150,000 tons are forecast to arrive into the Gulf in June, current U.S. prices are not high enough to attract new spot cargos.
Global factors: India paid a higher price than expected in their last tender, with the majority of the product coming from Iran and Oman. India may delay its next tender until into June to draw Chinese product. That country has excess capacity and will likely put more of it into the international market beginning in July. Prices out of Yuzhnyy remain at $388/ton FOB.

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Ammonium Sulfate

Midwest price: $375–$395/st FOB for granular  •  Price outlook: Stable into May
Domestic market: In areas where spring planting is underway, Honeywell reports strong demand. Mid-grade product availability is expected to be tight until June and overall pricing strong.

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Nola price: $300/st FOB  •  Price outlook: Stable to higher through May
Domestic market: UAN application has been strongest in the Delta, where sidedressing is taking place. Demand could increase in the coming weeks as some growers who are unable to apply ammonia switch to UAN.
Global factors: A little fill product was being sold in France this week, but prices there increased due largely to a decrease in the value of the Euro. Overseas UAN FOB prices appear to be steady to higher. Prompt prices for Romanian UAN are now near $290/ton FOB, while product for June shipment is at $300.

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Cornbelt prompt prices: $625–$685/st FOB  •  Price outlook: Stable to lower through May
Domestic market: Wet field conditions continue to slow application, but some product was going to the ground in parts of the central cornbelt this week. Prices are likely to remain flat to slightly lower in the weeks ahead.
Global factors: The international market remains firm due to continued interruptions of gas supplies in Trinidad, and sold-out May production in Yuzhnyy and the Baltic. Producers seem slow to make deals for June, likely hoping that prices will move higher.

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Nola price: $540/st for DAP  •  Price outlook: Stable into May
Domestic market: There has been no change in pricing this week, with the market remaining fairly quiet. Producers are trying to gauge what summer-fill demand will be. Limited summer fill DAP barges are currently available in the $540-545 FOB Nola range.
Global factors: The international market has also been quiet and trading thin. Buyers continue to be in no hurry and demand has been spotty. India signed the big contract of the week for 250,000 tons of DAP and 100,000 tons of MAP from Russian producers at $612/ton CFR.

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Midwest warehouse price: $525–$560/st on granular  •  Price outlook: Flat to lower through May
Domestic market: The barge market is under some pressure due to the late spring and limited application window. In the coming weeks there may be some good values on barges from the Delta region that can’t be unloaded there due to high river levels. Summer fill pricing for barges is expected to be in the mid-$530s FOB Nola range once spring ends.
Global factors: The international market appears to be on firmer ground this week, and producers are talking of price increases. But certain markets around the world, such as Southeast Asia, are resisting buying at current price levels.

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News and Commentary from CHS Staff

Barges move north again, but flooding hampers the Delta

Water levels on the northern half of the Mississippi have dropped enough to allow barge traffic and unloading to resume. But the lower river is still dealing with severe flooding. “The river crested in Memphis on Monday night and water levels have started to go down, but we’re still at least a week away from being able to unload barges at our terminal there,” says Frank Edwards, Delta regional director for CHS Crop Nutrients. “With lots of field activity in much of the Delta this week, supplies there and at other terminals along the river are getting used up quickly.”

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Weather woes take toll on world wheat outlook

It’s not shaping up to be a good year for wheat production in some key parts of the world. Drought in the western Plains states has already put winter wheat crops there in the worst condition since 1996, and very dry conditions in parts of France, Germany, Poland, China and Western Australia are expected to impact crop yields in those countries. Conversely, other parts of the U.S. and Canada have faced near-record moisture levels in recent months that have limited growers’ abilities to plant spring wheat. “All of these recent weather concerns appear to have caused the wheat market to take off late last week and this week,” says Keith Swanson, CHS risk management services. “That, in turn, contributed to the corn market shooting up earlier this week.

Read more >



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