Fertiliser prices drop



Fertiliser prices have fallen by 36% to US$35 per 50 kilogrammes bag from US$55 following the reduction of international fertiliser prices and a drop in demand as the 2022/23 season comes to an end.

On the international market, the ammonium nitrate price in February 2023 was US$612.50 per tonne, which is 2.93% lower than January 2023’s price of US $631 per tonne while urea fell 19% to US$357.5 per tonne.

The falling trend has been replicated on the local market.

Farmers organisations say farmers should capitalise on the falling prices to stock for the 2023/24 season.

“The reduction in prices could benefit farmers by making fertilisers more affordable and accessible, which could ultimately increase crop yields and improve food security.

“More so, considering that fertilisers contribute significantly to the cost of production, with this reduction productivity will be enhanced and local produce will be competitive,” the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Shadreck Makombe told Business Times.

The ZCFU boss said subsidised fertiliser or buying fertiliser at the current is another way which local farmers can capitalise on to produce competitive exports as the current scenario, farmers are not maximising on exports due to high input costs.

He said tobacco growers who are selling their golden leaf can secure fertiliser at an affordable price.

“We don’t know what will happen in the next few months but tobacco growers who have the ready cash can take advantage of the prevailing prices.

“With one’s fertiliser, one can expand hectarage or reduce borrowing from tobacco merchants to realise a huge chunk of profits and reduce overdependence on offshore funding,” Makombe said.

According to the international market prices, the current price of US$612.50 per tonne of ammonium nitrate is 51.96% lower than the same period last year, which was US $744.17 per tonne in February 2022.

Also, the Morocco rock phosphate monthly spot price for February 2023 was US $322.5 per tonne, which is 7.5% more than the price in January 2023.

Moreover, the current price is 86% higher than the same period last year, which was US$172.5 per tonne in February 2022.

A fertiliser industry executive who preferred anonymity urged the sector to capitalise on the falling international prices and stock the product so that they can sell at a reasonable price when farmers buy the input.

“We also want the central bank to enable fertiliser companies to access forex to procure fertiliser at a lower price as this saves foreign currency,” he said.

Experts said there is a significant reduction in global fertiliser prices due to oversupply in the market, a decrease in demand for fertilisers, or a change in government policies that affect the fertiliser industry.


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