Oct 2023
Fertiliser prices returning to normal – sort of!
Oct 2023
Fertiliser prices returning to normal – sort of!

Written by:  Carter Johnson | Farm Business Consultant | 0429 264 550


After two years of crazy fertiliser prices, we are starting to see a return to ‘normal’ levels. This was the message given to us by CSBP at a recent update. But – the weakening Australian Dollar is counting against us and greater volatility around ‘normal’ can be expected.

NOTE: This was written prior to the recent conflict in the middle east, so how this unfolds could add to the volatility.

Nitrogen (N)


  • Cost of Urea has come off significantly in the past 12 months.
  • Overall moving towards a normal period of Urea prices.
  • The Urea price is still quite volatile – but this volatility is a bit more manageable.

The gcharts above highlight the points above. Global Urea prices have decreased significantly since the highs of $1000 USD/t. But we have seen swings in this price of up to $200 USD/t recently due to several factors.

The factors driving the urea price volatility are mainly China being in and then out of the urea market, India tenders (timing & volume), political intervention, European energy prices (a major input in Urea), and demand factors (Indian tenders).


  • Cost of UAN has come off significantly also in the past 12 months, however at a slower rate than the decrease in Urea.
  • Overall expect prices to be volatile depending on supply chain risks.

To summarise the UAN market globally, 35% of all traded UAN was produced by our not so good friends Russia and Belarus in 2020. So, 35% of the global production has a tariff applied to it (at a rate of 35% surprisingly), has sanctions applied to them, and is shipped through the Black Sea.

To counter that, the USA have stepped up significantly to supply UAN to Western Australia. BUT this isn’t without its risks, as the area that supplies this UAN has been affected by hurricanes in the past, wiping out production capacity for a quarter of a year.

It should be noted however that CSBP stated contracts are in place, and the only thing that will impact supplying these contracts is a supply chain disaster.

Phosphates (P)

  • Prices have reduced significantly over the last 12 months.
  • Price volatility remains in the market.
  • Expect return to more historical prices.

As the nitrogen market has decreased the cost of the raw materials to produce phosphates have dropped. Chinese export restrictions have dropped, Morocco has changed its production back to more normal levels, and Russia has found other countries (India, Brazil) to supply its production to.

The expectation is to return to more normal prices going forward BUT as always politics and war will play a major role in affecting the volatility of these prices.

Potassium (K)

  • Prices have reduced significantly over the last 12 months.
  • Expect pricing to continue to decrease to more historical prices.

After prices sky rocketed, demand decreased (due to the unrealistic prices) and producers such as Russian and Belarus found alternative markets for their potassium which has led to the decline in prices over the past 12 months.

Canadian port strikes, and the strategies the three major exporters of Russia, Belarus and Canada utilise (price vs volume) will all affect the potassium prices going forward. Overall prices are expected to continue to decrease to more historical levels going forward.


  • Nitrogen prices will remain at current levels; however, they will be volatile.
  • Phosphate prices are expected to continue to decrease.
  • Potassium prices are expected to continue to decrease.

The above generalisations need to be taken with a grain of salt, as stated throughout all this article, political influences, war, and supply chain shocks through disasters/natural disasters will all have a negative impact on what we pay here on farm for our fertiliser.



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