The European Commission’s decision in December to prolong anti-dumping tariffs on ammonium nitrate from Russia for an additional five years has contributed to the price rise of nitrogen fertilisers, the IFA has said.

Farm business and inputs chairperson Rose Mary McDonagh said that the Commission had chosen to protect the profitability of European fertiliser producers, while farmers face higher input costs.

“In January, merchants were selling SulCAN at €205 to €220/t. This week, prices are up at €240 to €270/t,” said McDonagh.

“Irish and European farmers are paying over the odds for fertiliser.

“The European Commission is undermining the competitiveness of EU agriculture and destroying farmers’ incomes by enabling a dysfunctional fertiliser market in the EU.”

Artificially high

The IFA opposed the renewal of anti-dumping measures, which it says prevents the operation of a fair and transparent market.

Last year, the IFA wrote to Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski highlighting “the need to see him come out and defend farmers' livelihoods” by demanding a fairer market for fertiliser inputs.

“Anti-dumping measures on the import of CAN and UAN fertilisers into the EU achieve just the opposite,” McDonagh continued.

“Our highest cost is nitrogen, but fertiliser prices are artificially high, and farmers have no say in the matter.

“The Commission has to listen to farmers and recognise the negative economic impact on the users of fertilisers.

“The fertiliser industry is profitable enough; they don’t need further protection with anti-dumping measures,” concluded Ms McDonagh.