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EU More Dependent Than Ever on Fertilizer from Russia

The CEO for the Norwegian chemical producer Yara International told journalists on Jan. 11 that “Europe is more food dependent on Moscow now than we were before the war, with the bloc replacing energy dependency with fertilizer dependency,” reported Euractiv. He warned that “We cannot be surprised if we will have shocks [in the sector].’”

“According to Eurostat data presented in the margins of the meeting, total nitrogen imports into the EU were up 34% in the 2022-23 fertilizers marketing campaign (July-June) compared to the previous period, with Russia accounting for around a third of the total.

“Urea imports were up 53%, doubling the volumes recorded in 2020-2021. Of this, 40% came from Moscow. The trend has slowed in the current season, but Russian urea still accounts for almost a third of the total imports.

“’Europe has been able to reduce the energy dependency on Russia in a really short period of time,’ Holsether said, ‘but it has also come at a cost, both for households and industries, which have been huge.’

“‘I would be very worried’—he continued—‘if we sleepwalk into repeating the exact same thing on fertilizer as we do and as we did on energy,’ the CEO said.”