U.S. farmers aren’t the only ones scrambling for fertilizer supplies this harvest season. European demand has pushed nitrogen fertilizer prices to a multi-year high after surging natural gas prices in Europe drove up costs of the crop nutrient.
With nitrogen exports jumping to meet demand, the continued fallout of the war in Ukraine is felt in agricultural communities worldwide. Europe began weaning itself off Russia’s natural gas in February, now looking to U.S. agricultural inputs to help maintain crops. However, tight fertilizer supplies have impacted countries everywhere, driving the United Nations to warn of a “future crisis” of availability. U.S. nitrogen exports soared to 370,000 short tons in August, more than double from August of last year.
And because European buyers are outbidding domestic buyers, nitrogen availability could continue to be an obstacle for U.S. farmers.
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