Doug Hoadley on CRU Nitrogen
What does the CRU Nitrogen team focus on?
Everything's driven by urea, so we do a lot of research on urea. We do a Quarterly Outlook for urea. We also do one for ammonia, which is the raw material both for urea and for a whole host of other products. Urea and ammonia are the two big products we work on.
On a quarterly basis we report on nitrogen costs. They’re important for pricing, for finding out who the marginal producer is, what the competitive situation looks like for the export market. We do a lot of work consistently on costs, particularly on urea and ammonia, as well as on other products, like ammonium nitrate, and even UAN.
What are the benefits of having teams in China and India?
One of the advantages that we have in our Nitrogen group, and CRU in general, is we have the office in China. We have a person who has been with the company for a long time, is well known in the industry, who provides a lot of updates on China, and answers questions. He's busy all the time. A lot of our customers take advantage of that. We can't really start even preparing our Quarterly Outlooks without going to China and getting updates first. We also have a representative in India, which is the largest importer of urea.
That really helps us – having boots on the ground to get the key information we need for urea and ammonia.
Doug Hoadley Head of Nitrogen, Fertlizers
What next for CRU Nitrogen?
We're working on more content, producing not only the quarterly reports and leaving customers alone with that information, but doing more insights. Our goal is to post one of these a month. An insight takes a topic that we may not normally approach in the quarterlies, explores it, and says, "What does this mean to the market?"
We hold a positive outlook for European steel this year. This is driven by both demand and supply side factors including strong expected output from steel-consuming...