Who Will Be First To Blink In Fertilizer Standoff?

Weekly Fertilizer Review for Sept.18,2008.

With most markets around the world in turmoil this week, the fertilizer trade is just as uncertain.

After anhydrous ammonia prices held steady last week on international markets, there's so far been little trade to indicate whether tumbling commodity prices and lack of credit are affecting the fertilizer industry too. One company reported it sold a cargo out of the Black Sea at steady prices, but traders appeared to be greeting the news with skepticism. In other markets, like urea, bids and offers were reportedly far apart, because buyers don't want to be caught with a cargo if prices suddenly drop.

Indeed, with crop prices well off all-time highs, the logic for record fertilizer prices was less than clear. Farmers responding to a FarmFutures.com on-line poll confirmed our recent survey suggesting producers were reluctant to plant more corn in 2009 in the face of uncertain prices and sky-high costs. More than half those responding said they would plant fewer acres next spring, while only 13% said they intended to seed more corn.

Anhydrous prices last traded around $800 out of the Black Sea and $845 in Tampa.

To read Bryce Knorr's complete weekly fertilizer review, click HERE.

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