A semi-annual global fertilizer report published by RaboResearch in June shows that imports of nitrogen, phosphate and potash to North America in the first quarter of 2020 were down 22% from last year, despite an increase in the number of planted acres.

Sam Taylor, a U.S.-based farm inputs analyst, said factors "point to continued downward pressure" on the price index for the key inputs in the coming months.

“The near-term upward movement in North American phosphate prices does little more than change the trade flows longer term," he said in a statement. "We remain in a structurally low corn/soybean price environment, with high global potash inventory, global economics weakening the ammonia complex and uncertainty around trade.”

The increase in corn acres planted worldwide is linked to an increase in demand for nitrogen. However, ammonia prices reached their lowest value since 2016 in May, which was “pressured by sharp reductions in energy commodity prices and lower,” according to the report.

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The report states that prices for sulfur and ammonia declined about 20% from last year; in the second quarter of 2020, a fall in phosphate prices indicates that there is still an oversupply in the market.

Lower demand caused muriate of potash prices to drop 25% worldwide. Potash prices in North America and Europe are expected to decline with the “end of seasonal high-demand periods and on uncertainties regarding the economic recession.”

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