Accusations that the country’s fertiliser stocks are being stored at Belview Port, Co Kilkenny, have been quashed by the yard’s owner, Target Fertiliser.

Target sales manager Walter Furlong Jr said claims that the yard was being used as a national stockpile in some sort of scam against farmers were not true.

Following the circulation of a number of videos on social media of large quantities of fertiliser at Belview Port, Furlong told the Irish Farmers Journal: “What’s there now is only 6% of our total sales for an average year.”

The fertiliser company claims to cover 20% of the Irish fertiliser market, meaning the stock equates to 1.2% of the country’s overall demand.

Stock down

Furlong said the stock will “clear out” over the coming weeks and that the company has “nowhere near as much stock” as previous years.

He said that at Target’s bagging facility in Caim, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford “we’re bagging 60% less than we would have before Christmas 2020”.

He described the major cost increases in shipping as a factor affecting supply.

If farmers want fertiliser, the best way to get it is to go and buy it

“Boats including product and freight are costing between €2.5m and €3m more this year than they did last year.”

“The cost of freight has increased from €25/t to €63/t for ships coming from Spain.”

Furlong said “drawings will be slower” from the Belview Port yard as merchants haven’t got the cashflow to buy stock.

“If farmers want fertiliser, the best way to get it is to go and buy it.

“I think everyone should be buying 30-40% of what they need now.”

Only with this cashflow will merchants and suppliers be able to get stock in, he said.