The index, a weighted composite of DAP fob levels from the five largest export markets — the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Morocco — rose to 86.9 points yesterday, marking a rise of 0.05 points this month. The index fell by 1.77 points in April, following successive monthly gains in the first quarter.
DAP prices in India, the largest global importer, were largely stable in the mid-$310s/t cfr this month. Indian DAP imports ramped up in May with buyers scheduling 895,000t to arrive in June, as solid crop fundamentals and strong consumer offtake has encouraged buying. May DAP offtake by Indian farmers surged to over 600,000t this month, doubling year earlier levels. India's agricultural ministry has forecast the second highest rice crop on record this karif season, running from April to September, with a normal monsoon also projected.
Fob levels in the major suppliers east of Suez, China and Saudi Arabia, were similarly stable, as increased offers out of China for June and continued Indian imports supported buying. The future direction of DAP levels east of Suez will be heavily influenced by the awards under the Bangladeshi private sector's purchase tender for 600,000t of DAP. Negotiations with suppliers are ongoing, with an award anticipated on 4 June.
But a lack of spot sales west of Suez, particularly in major destination market Brazil, resulted in a stand-off between producers and buyers, as the spread between bids and offers continued to widen. A pick up in imports for Brazil is anticipated ahead of the beginning of safra application to the soybean crop in September, but buyers deferred purchases in the first half of May expecting prices to fall.
Key suppliers, particularly the US' Mosaic and Morocco's OCP, accordingly sought to move more product eastwards, to ratchet up pressure on Brazilian buyers. Mosaic will ship 50,000t of DAP from Tampa to India in mid-June, and OCP has lined up at least eight vessels for June-July arrival in India. Mosaic typically caters to Indian demand with product from its Saudi Arabian joint venture MWSPC. But low freight rates have limited a significant impact on fob levels at these origin markets, supporting the index, but this could be set to change in June.