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Abstract

Changes are evolving that are impacting the U.S. nitrogen fertilizer industry. Changes in crops, increased demand, reductions in natural gas prices, and spatial competition among producers and imports are affecting the nitrogen fertilizer industry. A spatial competition model of the United States fertilizer sector was developed to determine the likely future spatial distribution of production and flows for nitrogen fertilizer. The model minimizes production and shipping costs from plants and imports to demand areas. A base model of 2010-12 was developed and a future case was modeled representative of 2018. The most valuable (lowest cost) origins for US processing are primarily in Louisiana, followed by others states with low natural gas prices. Shadow prices indicate several locations in Wyoming, Iowa, Georgia, Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas, and North Dakota would be positive. Not all of proposed plants would be viable and if forced to operate at 75% of capacity or more only a few of the new plants including those located in Louisiana, Iowa and North Dakota would be viable.

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