Ukraine war, gas and the fertiliser problem
“it’s not whether we are moving into a global food crisis – it’s how large the crisis will be.”
The commercial nitrogen fertiliser market has been very volatile the past seven months. Supply issues from China, Russia, as well as Europe, have caused shipping issues and shortages for all of Australia. Australia does not manufacture enough nitrogen to supply its own domestic market.Soil Wealth Integrated Crop protection webinar: Nitrogen fertiliser price and supply: management options in difficult conditions
As a result, the cost of nitrogen fertiliser has more than doubled. In June 2021, urea (46% nitrogen) retailed for around $600/tonne or $1.30/kg nitrogen. Today, urea costs about $1,400/tonne or $3.04/kg nitrogen.
I swear they’ve been asking Michael Mann to make the commodity charts for them.
A key point here is that (quote) ‘Huge amounts of natural gas are needed to produce ammonia, the key ingredient in nitrogen fertiliser’. The boss of a major producer says: “Half the world’s population gets food as a result of fertilisers… and if that’s removed from the field for some crops, [the yield] will drop […]Ukraine war, gas and the fertiliser problem