A stark warning by Europe’s farming unions that planned EU anti-dumping duties on liquid nitrogen fertiliser imports would increase costs for farmers by £1.7 billion over the next five years has been dismissed by a UK fertiliser supplier as a “massive over-statement”.
“Business is business and there are a lot of supply sources around the world for us to draw on,” said Mark Law of Law Fertilisers.
He added that he also wasn’t worried about any potential Brexit effect on the fertiliser business.
“We trade with the EU and we’ll absorb any potential duty that is involved,” he said.
His response came in the wake of a warning by Copa-Cogeca, who represent EU farm unions, including NFU Scotland, that planned EU anti-dumping duties on liquid nitrogen originating from Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA, would end up costing farmers an awful lot of money.
“Fertilisers represent by far the largest share of European farmers’ input costs,” said Copa-Cogeca secretary general Pekka Pesonen, adding that Urea Ammonium Nitrate alone could represent up to 30% of farmers’ operating costs in Europe.
The organisation’s Cereals Working Party chairman, Jean-François Isambert, added that prices of nitrogen fertilisers had already increased considerably in recent months and that the proposed anti-dumping move would add about €2 billion (£1.7m) to farm costs over a five-year period.
“Not so,” replied Mr Law, whose Scottish operations are run from Kirkcaldy.
“I’d advise farmers to shop around, as always.”