Israeli war, tariffs on Russia could impact fertilizer market

A fertilizer expert is concerned that already volatile fertilizer and energy markets could get worse because of war and trade policy.

Josh Linville with Stone X tells Brownfield so far, the war in Israel hasn’t impacted its ability to continue as the world’s fourth-largest potash supplier. “Fortunately, from that side of it, operations do not sound like they were impacted. It doesn’t sound like manufacturing, mining, all of that situation has stopped. It doesn’t sound like shipping channels have stopped, so, so-far, the effect on the potash market has been nil.”

Linville says the energy markets have placed war premiums into market values, causing world natural gas prices to jump, increasing the cost of producing nitrogen.

He says U.S. fertilizer inventories are already low, and the U.S. Commerce Department’s planned increase in tariffs on Russian phosphates from 9.19% to 53.29% would hurt farmers and consumers. “We are seeing a lot more groundswell, a lot more challenges over these duties from people saying we were told that North American manufacturing of phosphate could keep up with North American demand, yet I can’t get MAP (m=monoammonium phosphate) and that the reason it’s a hundred dollar a ton premium over DAP (Di-ammonium phosphate).”

Linville says he’s also concerned about the safety of shipping through the Persian Gulf if world leaders issue sanctions against Iran for any involvement in the attack on Israel.

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