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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)


Page 646

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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