Home NewsAustralia Australian farmers to pay more for fertiliser as China moves to restrict exports

Australian farmers to pay more for fertiliser as China moves to restrict exports

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The price of producing meals is ready to extend with the Chinese language authorities anticipated to limit the manufacturing and export of a vital agricultural fertiliser.   

China’s financial planning physique, the Nationwide Growth and Reform Fee (NDRC), is transferring to limit the manufacturing and export of phosphates till the center of subsequent 12 months. 

Phosphorus is a necessary plant nutrient. Australian grain farmers use the granulated fertiliser at planting to determine crops. 

The fertilisers are made out of phosphate rock reserves mined primarily in China, Morocco, Western Sahara, the US and Russia. 

Final 12 months 65 per cent of the mono ammonium phosphate (MAP) fertiliser utilized in Australia got here from China. 

Phosphates editor with fertiliser market publication Argus, Harry Minihan, mentioned US import duties on Moroccan and Russian origin phosphates had induced the product’s worth to double prior to now 12 months. 

He mentioned proscribing its manufacturing and export would serve China in two methods on this excessive worth setting. 

“The Chinese language authorities wish to make sure that there’s sufficient product within the nation for farmers, and they’re additionally making an attempt to cut back emissions as effectively.” 

Nonetheless, this may trigger ache for different nations. 

“China is the highest phosphate provider into Australia, and if there’s a restriction in exports, it should have some actual vital affect on Australian patrons.”  

Not a commerce problem

Whereas a phosphate scarcity will drive up prices for Australian farmers, Mr Minihan mentioned proscribing exports was not associated to commerce tensions between the 2 nations. 

“That is going to have extreme results on different main importers as effectively,” he mentioned.

“It’s not simply Australia that’s going to be affected.

“India is the world’s largest DAP importer, and so they nonetheless have vital necessities for his or her winter rabi season.” 

Tough buying choices

Green wheat in focus in the foreground with blurred mature wheat in the background
Australian grain farmers use the granulated phosphate fertiliser at planting to determine crops. (

Provided: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Meals Innovation


Wes Lefroy, senior agriculture analyst with Rabobank, mentioned costs had been additionally excessive throughout the vary of farming inputs, together with chemical substances.

“From a glyphosate perspective as effectively, costs out of China have greater than doubled this 12 months, and round 65 per cent of the globe’s glyphosate comes from China, and that represents a big chunk of Australian provides.”

Mr Lefroy mentioned there was no motive to anticipate fertiliser costs to fall earlier than subsequent season.

At present, urea and phosphorous fertilisers are buying and selling both aspect of $1,000 a tonne, a lot larger than common ranges. 

“We’re anticipating costs to stay elevated into 2022, which places farmers in a troublesome place forward of subsequent season,” he mentioned

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