NFU Scotland has asked the EU’s competition authorities to investigate price transparency and competition in the fertiliser market.
With growers bracing themselves for an expected further £25/t increase in nitrogen prices this autumn, a common-sense, rather than opportunistic, approach to fertiliser prices was needed, said NFU Scotland vice-president John Picken at the Royal Highland Show.
“The recent upswing in world, European and UK cereal markets has certainly raised expectations amongst Scottish cereal producers that, given fair harvest conditions, respectable prices may again be achieved this autumn,” he said.
“Those same speculative predictions also appear to have encouraged some within the fertiliser trade to rewrite their price book. Once again we face the prospect of increased bills for fertiliser landing on doormats before any crops have been physically sold from the farm.
“The near monopolisation of the fertiliser industry by a few big players has implications for future food production. We believe it is timely for the European Commission to investigate the workings of the fertilisers markets to ensure they are operating effectively.”