OCP, the Moroccan phosphates giant, looks like facing a cut
on prices of phosphoric acid charged to European customers, after a deadlock
over talks with Indian buyers ended with a discount.
State-controlled OCP, the world's leading phosphate exporter,
is in talks, seen as unlikely to end before next week, with European customers
over phosphoric acid contract prices for the July-to-September period.
After a cut in Indian values, it is now widely anticipated
that European contracts will also decrease although the magnitude has yet to be
OCP supplies almost half of all European Union imports of
phosphoric acid, which is used predominantly as the key raw material of
phosphate fertilizers, but also in the likes of rust removal products, soap,
toothpaste and as a food additive.
OCP earlier this week settled its Indian phosphoric acid contract
price for the July-to-September quarter at $567 a tonne, on a cost and freight
That represented a decrease of $23 a tonne from the price
agreed for the April-to-June quarter, and followed talks which had revealed
widely distant price expectations from OCP and its buyers.
Entering the quarter, OCP in Morocco was targeting a price
increase of $25-30 a tonne, whereas buyers were seeking decreases of the same
Other suppliers were understood to be targeting rollovers.
The EU imported 395,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid in the first
four months of 2017, more or less in line with volumes for the same period of 2014
and 2016, but down from 488,000 tonnes in the same period in 2015.
April imports, at 87,847 tonnes, were notably down on the
103,078 tonnes for the same month of last year.