Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)
Foster, Russell J.
Nitrogen, pp. 643-653 ff. PDF (1.4 MB)
Table 5.—Price quotations for major nitrogen compounds at yearend 1978-79 Source: Green Markets. 646 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 CONSUMPTION AND USES Domestic consumption of ammonia increased to 15.3 million tons of contained nitrogen in 1978. This rise in ammonia demand was due primarily to greater production of nitrogen fertilizers for export, as domestic fertilizer application was down. In 1979 ammonia consumption reached nearly 16.2 million tons of nitrogen content because of greater use of nitrogen fertilizers in the United States and the continued strength of export markets. Fertilizers account for over three-fourths of ammonia demand either in direct application or the manufacture of downstream compounds. Other uses of chemicals produced from ammonia include explosives, resins, fibers, plastics, and animal feeds. STOCKS Ammonia stocks held by producers at yearend 1978 totaled over 2.0 million tons of contained nitrogen, down 10% from the previous year's ending inventory. In 1979 stocks of ammonia were reduced 14% further to just under 1.8 million tons of nitrogen content at yearend. PRICES Abundant supplies and reduced demand by domestic agriculture depressed ammonia prices throughout 1978. The spot market reportedly declined to about $80 per ton, f.o.b. gulf coast.'° In the spring of 1978 the average price of ammonia at the farm level was down more than 9% from a year earlier, and dropped further during the year. Prices paid by U.S. farmers for nitrogen fertilizer compounds were mixed compared with those of the previous year. However, a general decline was observed through the remainder of the year." Improved demand enabled ammonia prices to recover throughout 1979, reaching about $130 per ton, f.o.b. gulf coast by yearend.12 By spring 1979 the average price of ammonia at the farm level had risen 6% from the year before, and continued to climb as the year went on. Except for solutions, spring farm prices of nitrogen fertilizers were higher than those of the previous year, and all compounds displayed increases during the year.'3 (Per short ton) Price Compound 1978 1979 Anhydrous ammonia: fob. gulf coast Delivered Corn Belt $80- 84 104-115 $128-132 148-155 Ammonium sulfate: fob. Corn Belt - 60- 65 75- 80 Ammonium nitrate: Delivered CornBelt 86- 90 118-120 Urea: f.o.b. gulf coast Delivered Corn Belt 106-110 125-135 145-150 165-170 Diammonium phosphate: fob. Tampa 116-120 212-215 FOREIGN TRADE The quantity of ammonia exported by the United States increased substantially in both 1978 and 1979. In addition, greater exports of downstream nitrogen products, especially ammonium phosphates, urea, ammonium sulfate, and nitrogen solutions, contributed to record levels of total fixed nitrogen exports in both years. U.S. ammonia imports also attained new highs in 1978 and 1979. Soviet shipments began in January 1978, and by yearend 1979 the U.S.S.R. was the leading foreign supplier of ammonia to the United States, followed by Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexico. The amount of other nitrogen compounds imported has declined.
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