Nov 25, 2021 17:25 GMT
In the last year, the prices of nitrogen fertilizers in the international market have increased by at least 80%.
World food prices have been rising precipitously in recent years, hitting a new 10-year high last October, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Forecasts indicate that this trend, at least in the short term, is not going to slow down.
According to experts, this is mainly due to the fact that the prices of nitrogen fertilizers in the international market are at their highest levels in more than a decade and are at least 80% older now than in 2020.
For their part, Russia, China and Turkey, which are the main fertilizer producers, have decided to limit exports to cope with domestic increases in food prices.
Farmers use nitrogen to increase the production of corn, canola, wheat and other crops, applying it before the planting season. However, due to current high prices, farmers have been forced to delay their purchase until spring, which could result in lower food production and, therefore, an increase in prices.
Daren Coppock, executive director of the Association of Agricultural Retailers of America, assures that “there will be a lot of people who will wait and see”, but that “if everyone is fighting in the spring to get enough [fertilizante nitrogenado], someone’s corn will not be covered“.
According to Matt Conacher, fertilizer manager at Canadian wholesaler Federated Cooperatives Limited, waiting until spring to buy the product could disappoint some farmers. “My advice is, if you can get your fertilizer now, you do it“Conacher stressed.
For its part, CF Industries, one of the main producers of nitrogen fertilizers in the world, warns that the strong international demand for the product can last until at least 2023.