China may have re-entered the nitrogen export market, after supplying India with 1.1 million tonnes last month in its most recent tender.
The Indian tender, looking for 1.5mt of nitrogen, is a good reflection of how tight or loose nitrogen supply in the international market is.
India last went to tender in June, looking for up to 800,000t, but only managed to capture 560,000t.
CSBP strategy and reliability manager Ben Sudlow said the fact that China put that amount of volume to tender gave an indication that China may be back in the export market again.
"China's been effectively out of the market for some time, they haven't really put any significant volume into the tender since 2021," Mr Sudlow said.
Last year, China supplied only 0.7mt to the international market, instead choosing to supply its domestic market.
This meant the local Chinese price of nitrogen was much lower than international levels.
China's bid on the tender has had a downwards pressure on international nitrogen pricing, with prices now sitting steady at about $385 per tonne.
This is contrasted to the $950/t last March.
In the past two weeks, South America started to wrap up its fertiliser use and it appears the market has once again got too much supply.
"It looks like the market suddenly has excess tonnes again, and pricing is just starting to drift down again and has done so for the last seven days," Mr Sudlow said.
He said the question was now whether China planned on resuming international nitrogen trade.
"The question now is what will China do and will they continue to export?" Mr Sudlow said.
"If they choose not to participate further with more volume, then the market could potentially be short and maybe there's some support under the prices now.
"We don't really know."
Mr Sudlow referred to the Indian tenders as "amplifiers" of how the market was performing.
Because of its large fertiliser needs, it was the only country that buys such bulk amounts, which helps traders gauge supply.
"There's no one else that has that volume, in terms of direction of price, and whether the market is long or short," Mr Sudlow said.
If the Indian market is short, then the global market is deemed short.
The nitrogen markets reached a low about six weeks ago at $270/t, but Mr Sudlow said it would take some time for the market to settle and gauge what next year's nitrogen prices would look like.
Rabobank agricultural analyst Vitor Pistoia said it was important to keep in mind that China imports a lot of energy that is used to produce urea and other nitrogenous fertilisers.
"The energy market is not as stable as it was, nor easy to get supply around," Mr Pistoia said.
With many countries struggling to replenish storages, it is possible China runs into the same problem.
CSBP was not yet buying nitrogen for next season and Mr Sudlow warned the prices that farmers currently saw in international markets might not always be reflected in domestic markets.
"We wouldn't buy urea now, so we're not necessarily going to be getting these prices and they may not be reflective in the market," he said.
Instead, CSBP has started buying Flexi-N (urea ammonium nitrate) for next season.
Traditionally a large portion of Australian Flexi-N would be bought from the Black Sea region - either Belarus or Russia - which produce more than a quarter of the world's urea ammonium nitrate.
However, Australia has placed 35pc tariffs on these countries, which has made it economically not feasible to purchase.
The second choice would be Europe, but it is prioritising supplying urea ammonium nitrate internally.
This puts almost 35pc of the world's urea ammonium nitrate inaccessible.
Mr Sudlow said CSBP had almost no other choice than to purchase from the United States, which made the company a bit more sensitive to shocks given the single supplier.
"There's always some concern that things can change quickly when you've only got one one or two suppliers on planet Earth," he said.
"If something changes you can become very vulnerable."
The US has proved to be a reliable supplier since the Russia-Ukraine war, so Mr Sudlow wasn't too concerned that they were buying from one main country.
"When Russia was invading Ukraine, we knew the US was unlikely to supply us and then the US thankfully supplied us and the rest of Australia," Mr Sudlow said.
Mr Sudlow expected prices for Flexi-N next year to be dramatically lower than the past few years.
"The prices will be about half of what they were months ago, so they've come off dramatically," he said.
He said there was a possibility that they softened even further, but he didn't expect them to rise anywhere near last year's levels given the current market climate.
Potassium levels were looking low on farms across WA and Mr Sudlow encouraged farmers to test their soils to ensure they were at correct levels.
Potassium prices were normalising back towards long-term averages, but were "not quite there" yet.