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Attack on Saudi Aramco raises fertiliser concerns

The recent drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil producer Aramco have raised supply concerns in the fertiliser markets, ADM agriculture has warned.

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Along with Iraq and Qatar, Saudi Arabia is one of the largest producers of urea in the Middle East.


Gas supply to the SABIC urea plant was restored on Wednesday (18 September), which meant the production of ammonia or fertiliser was not interrupted significantly, but tensions remain and rises in natural gas prices are possible, according to Calum Findlay, ADM Agriculture’s head of fertiliser.


“Shipping freight rates have already increased due to higher insurance premiums,” he said. “Further attacks will support the already-firm outlook for nitrogen in Q4.”


Meanwhile, the tender from India’s Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation has risen to 950,000t and is open to more if the urea can be sourced. However, Findlay said that FOB levels are flat week on week, suggesting manufacturers are covered for October shipment.


“UK nitrogen producer CF is indicating a premium for November delivery at a minimal premium compared with Yara’s £16/t premium,” said Findlay.


“UK prices remain below those on the Continent, so an upside risk remains due to minimal stock in the UK, currency swings, and the continuing possibility of tariffs.”


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