Fertilizer supplies are tight and expected to tighten from Russia, Canada concerns
The Fertilizer Institute says it’s unclear what the effects of the Russia/Ukraine conflict will have on global fertilizer supplies.
Kathy Mathers, vice president of public affairs, says the market was already tight before the invasion and supplies are likely to get tighter especially for fall application. “Although we get significant amounts of fertilizer from Russia, at this point, much of the spring if not all of the spring fertilizer is in place.”
She tells Brownfield there are other immediate issues. “Look to more of those domestic supply chain issues of concern. Longer term, Russian sanctions could obviously have a big impact on fertilizer.”
And, she says, it’s too early to tell what those impacts might be. “Even if we were not relying on Russia for a particular nutrient, we still may end up seeing the impact of that supply being removed from the global market.”
The potential of another labor strike in Canada could have rippling effects domestically.
She says the U.S. doesn’t have extensive potash reserves and relies on Canada as a supplier. “Internal supply chain issues are what I would call an immediate concern.”
She says a potential strike from the Canadian National Railway could disrupt imports. “Particularly with potash, much rarer in terms of their supply, I wouldn’t say that about phosphates but potash definitely because we do rely heavily on Canada,” she says. “I would say that’s a plus on our side of the ledger, but again the internal issues could impact that.”
She says CFI is working with several ag groups to write a letter to the Administration saying “You guys need to work with the Canadian government, work with others to make sure this doesn’t happen.”
Mathers says it’s too soon to predict fertilizer prices as a result of these issues.
Kathy Mathers, vice president of public affairs, TFI: