Ukraine increases imports of nitrogen fertilizers due to almost fivefold drop in production

15 February, 04:01 PM
Production of nitrogen fertilizers in Ukraine fell 4.6 times (Photo:James Baltz \ Unsplash)

Production of nitrogen fertilizers in Ukraine fell 4.6 times (Photo:James Baltz \ Unsplash)

Ukraine reduced its nitrogen fertilizer production by 4.6 times in 2022, while tripling imports, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy said in a statement on the situation with fertilizers in Ukraine on Feb. 14.

In 2022, Ukraine produced 1.13 million tons of nitrogen fertilizers, which is 4.6 times less compared to 5.2 million tons in 2021, the ministry report states.

At the same time, fertilizer imports increased by 3.1 times to 4.3 from 1.4 million tons.

Before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, fertilizer production from manufactures such as Rivneazot, Severodonetsk Azot, Cherkasy Azot and Dniproazot exceeded imports.

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According to Dmytro Hordiychuk, head of Ukrainian information agency Infoindustry, only two plants continue to work — Rivneazot and Cherkasy Azot, while Severodonetsk Azot stopped working completely and has been heavily damaged by Russian invaders.

These changes significantly altered the market statistics for the worse: as a result, only 1.13 million tons of fertilizers were produced in 2022, the shortfall of which was compensated by imports of 4.3 million tons.

"The issue of fertilizer shortages is one of the most crucial for the agricultural sector and Ukrainian farmers, as we are facing a spring sowing season that will be watched by the whole world," said Mykola Solskyi, the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.

He emphasized that Ukraine is one of the leading countries in agriculture and global prices on the grain markets depends on its production.

Until July 2022, Ukrainian farmers were still able to buy fertilizers at pre-war prices, but prices for ammonium nitrate rose from UAH 27,000 ($730) to UAH 37,000 ($1,000) per ton, the minister said.

According to Solskyi, farmers usually form prices by the rule that the cost of a ton of nitrate should not be more expensive than 2.5 tons of wheat, and a ton of carbamide should not be more expensive than 3.0-3.5 tons of corn, while in 2022 these figures were exceeded by two or three times.

It was reported earlier that the Financial Investigations Service and the Security Service of Ukraine seized 170 railcars carrying Russian and Belarusian fertilizers.

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