China’s campaign to heat millions of homes this winter by natural gas has left fertilizer producers short of supplies and profits, an industry association said, with urea and ammonia plants halving their operating rates from a year ago. The feedstock crunch has tightened supplies and boosted prices of fertilizer components in the world’s top agriculture market, and the trouble may carry into spring planting…Full Article: The Global Times Jan 2018

Key Point

  • In 2017 (winter), according to the China Nitrogen Fertilizer Industry Association, operating rates for natural gas-based nitrogen fertilizer plants in China reached a low of 15%. In 2016, operating rates were roughly double at 31%.

ChinaAg Comment

  • Synthetic ammonia is ammonia, a compound of nitrogen and three hydrogen, which has been synthesized from natural gas. Natural gas is the primary source of hydrogen in synthetic ammonia, while the nitrogen component is obtained from the air. Once produced, synthetic ammonia can either be used as fertilizer directly or undergo further processing to produce other nitrogen fertilizers such as urea, ammonium nitrate, monoammonium phosphate, or diammonium phosphate. Nitrogen is an essential element for plants.

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