The NFU is calling for the EU to abandon its “anti-dumping” duties on fertiliser imports, after seeing the price of potash more than double during the past three years.
NFU inputs adviser Peter Garbutt said it was “unjust” for the EU to block cheaper imports of potash when farmers were struggling with higher fuel and input costs.
“While EU anti-dumping duties on imports from Belarus and Russia have been in place, the price has rocketed from around £137/t in 2006 to £340/t today,” said Mr Garbutt.
“We have consistently argued that anti-dumping duties on fertiliser imports are unjust, constrain the market and are not in the interests of the farming industry and the wider consumer. Industry figures show that UK farmers now spend over £100m per year more on potash than when the measures were put in place in 2006, with an overall bill of £173m per year.
“That’s why we have been in Brussels recently talking to MEPs, industry representatives and Commission officials to help convince EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht to end anti-dumping measures as part of his partial interim review.
The latest round of anti-dumping duties stipulated a minimum import price and an annual quota of 700,000t of imports before a duty of 27.5% was imposed on top of market prices from imports of potash from Belarus. There are also similar, but smaller, duties imposed on potash from Russia.