Farmers fear income will be hit from duties on fertiliser imports

EU farmers could face €2bn in increased costs if the European Commission approves provisional anti-dumping duties on liquid nitrogen fertiliser imports, warn Copa and Cogeca.

Farmers fear income will be hit from duties on fertiliser imports

EU farmers could face €2bn in increased costs if the European Commission approves provisional anti-dumping duties on liquid nitrogen fertiliser imports, warn Copa and Cogeca.

The two leading EU farm organisations say farmers would pick up any costs resulting from anti-dumping duties on fertiliser imports.

The Commission is investigating possible low-cost dumping in the EU of liquid nitrogen fertilisers (UAN) from Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US.

Copa and Cogeca argue that any decrease in UAN prices during the investigated period is the result of global price trends. The farm groups also say the legal conditions to impose duties in the present case are not met.

Copa and Cogeca secretary general Pekka Pesonen said: “Fertilisers represent by far the largest share of European farmers’ input costs. UAN alone can represent up to 30% of farmers’ operating costs in Europe. Any anti-dumping duties would be directly passed on to farmers and add to these costs.

“The effects of such measures could result in an explosive cocktail, especially considering the current market conditions which are characterised by low grain prices on the world markets, the aftermath of the severe climatic conditions farmers are dealing with and the decrease in the EU Cap budget.”

In a letter to the EU trade department, Copa and Cogeca urged the Commission to terminate this investigation without the imposition of any anti-dumping duties. Copa and Cogeca have urged the Commission not to underestimate the adverse impact on European farmers and agri co-ps. They say added cost of import duties would add pressure on already fragile farm incomes.

Jean-François Isambert, Copa and Cogeca’s cereals chairman, added: “Prices of nitrogen fertilisers have already considerably increased in the EU in recent months. According to our calculations, the proposed anti-dumping duties would add about €2bn to these costs over a five-year period.

“Let’s be realistic, these extra expenses will never be passed on downstream in the agri-food chain and once again farmers will have to pay the price if such anti-dumping duties are applied.”

The European Commission’s investigation follows a complaint lodged last June by Fertilisers Europe on behalf of EU-based fertiliser producers. The group represents the interests of more than 50 % of the total EU production of mixtures of urea and ammonium nitrate.

The group asked the Commission to investigate UAN imports from Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and US for alleged dumping in the EU. Dumping usually involves the sale of goods in a foreign market at a heavily reduced price to the market of origin.

The European Commission stated: “According to the evidence in the complaint, gas — accounting for substantially more than 17% of the cost of production of the product under investigation — is subject to dual pricing in Russia.”

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