The latest figures from the UK confirm that 2013 was a record year for UK urea imports. The figure for the year was 8.9% up on 2012 and stood at just less than 770,000t. The previous record of just over 750,000t was achieved in 2009.
Indeed, lower average global urea prices will have encouraged the record imports in 2013. By way of comparison, the average Egyptian granular price quoted by Profercy in second half 2013 was over $100pt lower than in 2012.
North Africa (Egypt and lately Algeria) remains the biggest supplier of urea to the UK although Russian (ex-Baltic) product has taken a greater share of sales in the last year.
While the UK is only a relatively small importer in the global urea market, the majority of imports take place during the major European buying window. Hence, demand in the UK can play an enhanced role in certain periods in determining global urea prices. The quarterly distribution of purchases for the last two years is provided below.
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