The North American fertilizer industry has been waiting for a decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) on the tariff rates of phosphate entering the U.S. These tariffs address Mosaic’s complaint to the DOC that phosphate fertilizer imports from those countries were unfairly subsidized by their respective governments. Final rulings on the rates are set for February and April after further U.S. government reviews.
In an interview in October, Jake Niederer, director of sales and marketing with ADM Company, said “Canada pulls from the same origin sources as the U.S. and most of the fertilizer produced in North America comes from the east coast of the U.S. and central Florida. If imports are blocked off to compete in the U.S. market — in other words putting a duty on those products — that’s going to drive the price up.”
DOC duty rates have been announced and they are BIG:
Morocco – 23.46%
Russia – 20.94 – 72.5% (depending on producer)
The rates seem to be flipped but it is announced that way. Should mean Morocco/Russia DO NOT come to the U.S. direct. Trade flows remain inefficient for U.S.
— Josh Linville (@JLinvilleFert) November 24, 2020
According to information supplied to RealAgriculture, the preliminary rates include: 72.5 per cent applied to Industrial Group Phosphorite LLC (EuroChem); 20.94 per cent to Joint Stock Company Apatit (PhosAgro); all other Russian producers/exporters at 32.92 per cent; Morocco’s OCP at 23.46 per cent; and all other Moroccan producers/exporters 23.46 per cent.
The decision was to be released November 23, but was released November 24, one day later than scheduled.
Josh Linville, director of fertilizer at StoneX, at Kansas City, is not sold on all the predicted outcomes. “After the announcement the paper was up 10 – 15 per cent per short ton over the day prior but this puts into place inefficient trade flows as production has not been cut globally,” he says.
Linville has been watching prices rise ($100 per ton) since June in anticipation of this decision, but even with the tariff rate, Morocco may still be able to afford to ship to the U.S.
Hear Shaun Haney’s discussion with Josh Linville, Director Fertilizer with Stone X about the Department of Commerce decision: