March 2017 Edition


Welcome to the March 2017 edition of  FERTINEWS.

The coming months will be marked by several important events for the fertilizer sector in West Africa. From 11 to 13 April, Lomé, Togo will host a workshop devoted to soil fertility, mapping and crop- and site-specific fertilizer recommendations. From 9 to 10 May, more than 300 delegates are expected to meet in Abidjan, and attend the West African Fertilizer Forum organized by Argus and WAFA.  Finally, the 2017 edition of the West Africa Fertilizer Business Information Map (WAFBIM) has been released.

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Regional Fertilizer Retail Price Summary - February 2017

Commercial Market Prices (com) vs. Subsidized Prices (sub)
Product (US$/ton)
  560 509 471 534 486 492 494
428       257 245 350
558   468        
      606   529 449
389 519 494 440 471 498 552 448
405           350


Burkina Faso: Although the supply of cotton fertilizers is still ongoing at various cotton companies, a slow trade in fertilizers has been noted at various shops from mid-February to mid-March. However, Banfora, Dedougou, Koudougou and Ouahigouya were the best-selling locations for NPK 14-23-14, NPK 15-15-15, NPK 23-10-05 and Urea.
Côte D’Ivoire: In the North, fertilizer marketing has been slow. In the South, East and South-West zone, sales of fertilizer remained poor. The difficulties of cocoa stocks disposal in the ports have resulted in the non-payment of producers' dues and the latter have been short of liquidity for the purchases of fertilizers. In the west-central zone, which is a junction zone of two export crops (cacao and cashew), there was a better sale of cocoa fertilizers NPK 0-23-19 and urea.
Ghana: All agro- dealers have made efforts to stock their shops in order to take advantage of the major farming season which have just taken off in the southern part of Ghana. Farmers continued to buy fertilizer at the commercial market price. Quantities sold out by agro-dealers in the southern part of the country have picked up due to the start of the rains, while the north remain dry.
Mali: The fertilizer market is still slow in Mali. The start of the off-season crops was noted during which the transplanting step was initiated. However, low rainfall affected out-of-season activities, thus not favoring the increased use of fertilizers.
Senegal: In the region of Thiès and Dakar, demand for NPK 10-10-20 (tomato, pepper, eggplant, onion), NPK 6-20-10 (cassava, potato, sweet potato) and urea has remained good. At the Groundnut basin, fertilizer demand has dropped considerably as it is an area composed mainly of sub-rain crops. In Casamance, demand for fertilizer has remained low, while it grew in  the Senegal River Valley​.
Nigeria: Prices have crashed in almost all the states without irrigation farming that participated in the just concluding dry season subsidy program. This can be attributed to fertilizers procured during subsidy, finding its way back to the open market.
Togo: There was a significant decline in sales during the month of March 2017. This is a normal, cyclical situation related to the dry season. Small quantities were sold to market gardeners. CIAT fertilizer was mostly sold outside Togo.

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International Fertilizer Prices through February 2017


Product (US$/ton, FOB bulk)
Urea (granular, Arab Gulf) 226 229 256 252
Urea (granular, Indonesia/Malaysia) 224 231 260 271
Ammonium Sulphate (China) 96 97 111 116
DAP (Baltic/Black Sea) 311 311 319 347
MAP (Morocco) 342 329 320 338
TSP (Tunisia) 278 278 278 280
MOP (Israel) 223 223 223 224
SOP (€, North West Europe) 435 435 435 435
NPK 16-16-16 (FSU) 253 248 245 255

Source: Argus FMB
Nitrogen: Lack of demand and surprising weakness in the US and China combined to pull urea prices down further in late-February. Interest from buyers was becoming evident for April shipment in several countries, but this was leaving a void for March and making it hard for suppliers to place their tonnage. The main selling took place in Egypt and Indonesia, granular urea prices finding support at $260/t FOB in Egypt and $252-255/t FOB Indonesia. These levels were $15-25/t lower than earlier business and represented a necessary correction. Arabian Gulf urea also moved down, but not enough to enable spot sales. The most striking prices were seen in the US and China, places where only a month earlier some were forecasting rising prices and shortages of urea. Granular urea traded as low as $219/st FOB NOLA, equivalent to $236/t CFR, while Chinese prilled urea sold at $232-233/t FOB for March; scant evidence of any shortage. Low demand for March shipment appeared set to keep prices under pressure in the first and second week of March. Prices will fall closer to the levels at which buyers feel comfortable, but it appears that they will only stabilise when selling for April begins. At that stage, a stronger pull from large markets such as Thailand, Australia, India and southern Europe will be evident.

Phosphate: The phosphates market saw supply tightened further, with April sales already being lined-up as March offers swiftly dried up. Late February saw a flurry of tenders with demand being raised in Argentina, Central America, Pakistan and Iran for various phosphates products. In the Indian subcontinent, the market was focused on the prices being offered under Pakistani Fauji's 40,000t DAP enquiry. Offers were primarily backed by Chinese product, and prices ranged $385-390/t CFR. West of Suez, Latin American markets seemed to be at the forefront of activity during end February. With Brazilian offers jumping at the rate seen in early February, Argentina's Profertil tendered for 25,000t of MAP for April delivery. It was a strategic move in the region, especially in the light of various global producers clamoring for Brazil to break the $400/t CFR ceiling very soon. This was significant - Argus' Brazilian CFR price index had remained below $360/t CFR for most of 2016. And with Argentina in no rush to buy DAP tons (DAP imports seasonally accelerate from April onwards), the tenders may well be a price-checking move. Within the region, it was also reported that Incofe tendered for small volumes of DAP and MAP as part of a bigger combo vessel arrangement, but no prices were established under that tender. In Brazil, Saudi Arabia sold a DAP/MAP cargo at a reported price of mid-high $380s/t CFR.

Potash: The potash market in China saw no reason why the consortium of buyers should be in any hurry to settle 2017 seaborne contracts. Suppliers are pinning their hopes of a successful year, in part, on an early settlement for seaborne contracts to China. But with custom-cleared stocks still at over 2mn t in ports, as well as reports of as much as 5mn t elsewhere in China, and railed shipments coming in steadily from Russia, the spring application season is covered. Domestic spring season buying has begun already, and demand was described as normal. This, coupled with the improved supply from domestic suppliers such as QHSL, all slowed the urgency with which suppliers hope China will need to settle. And with no product available for China until at least May-June from many of the major suppliers who are, or are nearly, fully committed well into the second quarter, some market participants are already seeing a later signing date than last year. European prices firmed on the top end of the assessment, to €235-255/t CFR for granular MOP. Nola barge prices increased to $217-225/st FOB in the fourth week of February, up from $215-222/st the previous week. Mosaic even lifted its March price to $230/st FOB NOLA. And standard MOP prices in southeast Asia looked set to increase, as low inventories and limited supply drove prices upwards. Read more


The 2017 edition of WAFBIM is now available  

The 2017 edition of West Africa Fertilizer Business Information Map (WAFBIM) provides private sector players with the requisite fertilizer business and market information to guide and inform the industry’s decision-making, including up-to-date information on fertilizer production facilities, trade corridors, and regulations.

Click here to download the full publication

INDORAMA – a major fertilizer producer in West Africa

Indorama Corporation is a global manufacturing conglomerate operating in more than 25 countries on four continents. In West Africa, Indorama operates from Nigeria and Senegal. In Nigeria, Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited (IEFCL) owns a nitrogen fertilizer plant with a capacity of 1.4 million tons per year. In Senegal, Indorama acquired ICS in 2014, an integrated complex starting from the mining of rock phosphate, ore beneficiation, phosphoric acid production, to the production of end fertilizer products such as DAP and NPK. More about IEFCL | More about ICS

Roots for Growth - 4R Nutrient Stewardship

This video published by “The Nutrients for Life Foundation” shows the benefits of the 4Rs principles: Right source, Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place. These principles give every farmer the opportunity to improve nutrient management performance and soil health.


Connect With Us

Fertilizer News

GHANA: (March 6th 2017) - Yara International through its 'One Step Forward' program will provide sample fertilizers for female farmers …Read more

SIERRA LEONNE: (March 7th 2017) - Past Friday, The Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security (MAFF), held a validation workshop in the draft National Fertilizer Policy, which will be tabled to Cabinet … Read more

NIGERIA: (March 13th 2017) - Through the Bilateral Agreement (Nigeria- OCP) over 100 000 tons of fertilizer imported raw materials from Morocco were found at various terminals in Nigeria. They were also being off loaded from ships and transported to various blending plants across the country … Read more

NIGERIA-MOROCCO: (March 21th 2017) - Everything you need to know about the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) … Read more


Up-Coming Events

African Forum: "From Soil Fertility Testing and Mapping, to Site Specific Fertilizer Recommendations for crops"
Date: 11-13 April 2017
Venue: Lomé, Togo
Regional Forum Organized by IFDC and ECOWAS

The forum is jointly organized by the USAID West Africa Fertilizer Program, USAID Cotton Partnership Program, USAID FTF Agricultural Technology Transfer Program and IFDC/WAFP. 

The purpose of this forum is to review current efforts in improving resolution of fertilizer recommendations through soil fertility testing, the achievements, the methods and approaches involved, and to discuss ways of aggregating data and sharing information at a regional level. 

West Africa Fertilizer Forum
Date: 9-10 May 2017
Venue: Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Regional forum organized by WAFA and Argus
The West Africa Fertilizer Forum, organized by the West African Fertilizer Association and Argus, will bring together all links in the fertilizer supply chain in this region, as well as global producers, technology developers and investors. If you want to develop new relationships in the West African supply chain, click here to register


Linking Farmers to Markets in Africa
Date: 15-19 May 2017
Venue: Accra, Ghana
International Training Organized by IFDC

IFDC is organizing a 5day training intended for professionals in the private and public sector with a particular interest in the connection between farmers and markets. This training program will draw on lessons learned and best practices from IFDC and partner organizations. Click here to join

IFA Annual Conference
Date: 22–24 May 2017
Venue: Marrakech, Morocco
International Conference Organized by IFA

IFA conferences and meetings offer rich opportunities for members to exchange views on a number of key issues facing the fertilizer industry.
During this year conference, invited speakers will contribute valuable information on fertilizer demand and supply related issues with a special focus in Sub-Saharan Africa. Click here to register



Argus Africa Fertilizer Directory- List now your business for free!
Argus is collaborating with IFDC to bring together the African Fertilizer Industry in the directory which will help companies from all over the world to interact and do business with Africa.

Click here to fill in this short registration form and add your company to the 800+ companies already listed!
The West Africa Fertilizer Program is a five-year USAID-funded project that seeks sustainably improved agricultural productivity through increased regional availability and use of quality and appropriate fertilizer in West Africa. 

About is a global initiative facilitating the exchange of information on soil fertility, fertilizers, and good agricultural practices in Africa.
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