Fertilizer shipments in Southeast Asia reportedly delayed as typhoons hit parts of the region

14:52 PM | November 6, 2020 | Daniel Marshall

There are reports of shipment delays in Southeast Asia as strong typhoons swept across parts of Southeast Asia, while the impact on fertilizer demand is yet to be seen amid the seasonal lull in the region’s local markets.

Typhoon Goni, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Rolly, hit the Philippines on 1 November, destroying tens of thousands of homes on the island. Goni is the fourth tropical storm to hit the Philippines since October. Goni has since weakened to a tropical storm and is approaching Vietnam, which was recently battered by Typhoon Molave, one of the most powerful storms to hit the country in decades. Goni will be the sixth tropical storm to hit Vietnam since the beginning of October.

Market players noted that the immediate impact on fertilizer import demand is yet to be seen. However, the Philippines second season usually starts about now, and there is concern it may be delayed because of the typhoons. It is also understood that some buyers in Philippines have delayed their shipments as their warehouse facilities have been wrecked by the bad weather and are undergoing repair works. Shipments for DAP exports from Vietnam are understood to be affected as vessels are not allowed to sail.

Some buyers in Thailand noted that the delivery of cargoes, from the point of shipment to the transportation to warehouse, had been delayed by up to two weeks, but have brushed off concerns of the delay as the peak season for application is over, while the prices of DAP and urea remain high.

Delivery of MOP from Laos is also reportedly slower due to heavy floods that damaged the roads at Chalo border in the past week. It is understood that repair works are ongoing and expected to take about a month to complete, while the transport of potash cargoes has been diverted via another route. Costs are reportedly higher along the diversion, but suppliers are said to have maintained offers amid the transport issues and lower demand from Vietnam.

Market participants added that the respective governments might roll out assistance for the affected farmers, which might mitigate the impact.

On 4 November, Philippines Department of Agriculture announced 90 million Philippine pesos ($1.86 million) worth of assistance to affected farmers and fishers in Albay, which is one of the hardest hit provinces in Bicol, where Typhoon Goni wrought considerable damage. According to the department, the assistance included seeds of hybrid rice, corn, and assorted vegetables, and urea fertilizer, among others.