Earlier this week, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) led a protest at Yara’s facility in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, to highlight price rises imposed by the company since last June. Wholesale EU calcium ammonium nitrate fertiliser prices have risen by c.48%, while ammonium nitrate prices are up by 34%.
Peter Smith, Yara’s UK and Ireland commercial director, said: “I understand the farmers’ concerns. Fertilisers make up a significant part of their operating costs. The price rises are due to international commodity price rises, which have risen globally and throughout Europe.
“Currency fluctuations since June 2016 have also had a big impact in the UK, leading to a significant increase in the cost of raw materials. Yara is a relatively new company in southern Ireland. We’re hoping that the terminal we opened in Ringaskiddy will increase the opportunity and choice for farmers.”
Mr Smith invited Irish farmers to contact Yara or to visit its website, and to use its advice on spreading and other programmes to optimise their use of fertiliser.
IFA president Joe Healy said: “Yara, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers, has hit farmers with seven price increases since last June. This level of price increase is unjustified.
“It clearly demonstrates that increased concentration of the industry and anti-dumping duties and customs tariffs have resulted in a lack of real competition in the EU fertiliser market.”
Meanwhile, the IFA and the European-wide farmer and co-op umbrella group Copa-Cogeca are lobbying the EU to remove all anti-dumping duties and tariffs on fertiliser prices — introduced in 1994.
Copa president Martin Merrild said: “The IFA has taken a stance on this issue and has been very effective in highlighting farmer concerns. Copa-Cogeca has adopted a strong position paper on this issue and we will be pursuing this with the EU Commission.”