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Irish Independent

World’s top fertiliser maker sees two years of high prices

Going up: Rising fertiliser prices are eating into farmers’ margins across all sectors

In more bad news for farmers, a fertiliser that's key for crop production across the world will remain expensive for at least two years.

That's according to CF Industries Holdings Inc., the world's largest nitrogen fertiliser company. Prices have been skyrocketing as the war in Ukraine puts a large portion of the world's fertiliser supplies at risk, since Russia is major producer.

Costs of production are also skyrocketing with inputs like European natural gas rising on a potential fuel crunch. It's all contributing to worries about food inflation, since fertiliser shortfalls could lead to smaller harvests.

However, CF isn't seeing farmers shy away from buying, particularly in the US, said senior vice president of sales and market development Bert Frost.

"We don't see demand destruction," Frost said at a conference in New York last Wednesday. "We see demand deferral."

It comes as Irish fertiliser sales are reportedly significantly lower, particularly among drystock farmers.

Teagasc survey of close to 1,000 drystock farmers found almost half hadn't applied any N to grazing pasture by mid-April.

Fertiliser. particularly in the west of Ireland is said not to be moving from merchants and co-op yards where farmers are reluctant to pay high prices.

A recent IFA National Council update detailed that affordability more than availability appears to be the biggest concern regarding fertiliser and that availability in the backend of the year and into 2023 is of growing concern. The IFA has called for full inventories of available stocks.