Series of black swans send fertilizer prices soaring


Series of black swans send fertilizer prices soaring

A series of black swan events have fertilizer prices on a record-high trajectory.

Corey Rosenbusch, CEO of The Fertilizer Institute, tells Brownfield the course was set about 18 to 20 months ago.

“As you think back to COVID, I think initially folks were concerned about what the impact would be on fertilizer and on demand. So as a result, some of that planning was considering a slightly weaker market.”

He says as production scaled back, extreme weather, plant shutdowns, and government sanctions sent ripples through the chemical fertilizer markets that are going to be felt for a while.

Rosenbusch points out corn and soybean prices play a role as well.

“As the corn and soybean markets did so well, that basically drove increased demand. So anytime you have increased demand, a classic supply and demand model, that’s going to cause prices to go up.”

He says that’s especially true with nitrogen, which is also being pressured by escalating costs for its primary feedstock natural gas.

Looking ahead, Rosenbusch says N, P and K supplies are adequate but logistics questions for the next growing season remain.