Back us on AN, Union urges Byers

7 November 2000

Back us on AN, Union urges Byers

By FWi staff

FARMERS representatives have called for Government backing to help overturn plans to impose anti-dumping tariffs on Eastern European fertilisers.

The National Farmers Union wants to reverse a European Commission recommendation for tariffs on ammonium nitrate (AN) from Poland and the Ukraine.

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Stephen Byers attends a meeting of the ECs Anti-Dumping Committee on Thursday (9 November).

Union president Ben Gill has written urging to Mr Byers urging him to support the NFU stance at the meeting.

Representatives at the meeting will vote on whether temporary import duties on Polish and Ukrainian fertilisers should be continued.

The tariffs, imposed in July to help fertiliser manufacturers, is blocking a key source of AN and is thus distorting competition , argues the NFU.

Mr Gill told the Secretary of State: “The cost of fertilisers in this country has risen by 40% this year at a time when farm incomes continue to drop and farmers are simply unable to absorb any increased costs.

“Markets for farm inputs must be competitive if markets for agricultural produce are to be liberalised further.”

The union is liaising with the Office of Fair Trading for an urgent investigation into the pricing practices of UK fertiliser manufacturers.

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