Following the publication of his latest Feed Phosphates Pricing Update, we caught up with Janos Gal, Senior Phosphates Analyst at Feedinfo and discussed his views on the market. Janos will be providing a more comprehensive Overview for the Global Feed Phosphates Market at our upcoming Feed Additives event in Frankfurt this September.
Feedinfo’s Phosphates Analyst Janos Gal Shares His Views of the Market
The global feed phosphates market has gone through many changes in recent years and 2017 is no different. Janos Gal thinks there is potential for more consolidation because feed phosphates alternatives, such as phytase, are gaining market share.
Supply has been outstripping demand for quite a few years now and this has been reflected in declining prices. For example, since Q1 2016 MCP prices in Europe have fallen by more than 20% thanks to competition between various suppliers from Eastern and Western Europe.
What do you think are the biggest changes that have taken place in Europe this year?
I would say 2017 has been very exciting so far with lots of changes in the market. Aliphos expanded their Vlaardingen plant in the Netherlands and are now building a new plant in Dunkerque in France and Phosphea bought Elixir’s Serbian plant. But perhaps the biggest change took place in Sweden where Yara is still in talks with unions about the closure of the Helsingborg plant.
How do you think this will affect the European market?
The closure of the Yara plant has so far had no impact at all, in fact prices remained stable. Yara has another plant in Finland which I don’t think is running at full capacity so they will probably increase output there if necessary.
In terms of the Phosphea-Elixir purchase, it means that buyers that so far had two or three suppliers now find that they will get product from perhaps only one supplier as is the case in many nearby countries. These buyers now feel that they need to look for a new supplier so not all their eggs are in the same basket.
It could also result in less product arriving from Tunisia because up until now Phosphea used Koper in Tunisia as a distribution network for its African product. However, now it will distribute the Serbian material so we might find that imports to Slovenia will drop.
What do you think will happen during the rest of the year?
Well, the new Aliphos plant will most likely mean more competition for the same DCP buyers which could possibly further lower the price. Competition from Eastern European sellers will continue to remain strong as they are aiming to gain market share and buyers will seek more efficiencies so I expect some more phosphates could be displaced by phytase.
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