A Nitrogen Nightmare in the Making?

Jul 27, 2021

The American Farm Bureau is waving a red flag on a fertilizer fiasco that could drain U.S. farmers’ piggy banks.

The culprit? Potential duties on urea ammonium nitrate solutions (UAN).

In early July, CF Holdings, Inc. filed petitions with the U.S. government requesting countervailing and antidumping duty investigations of UAN imports from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago. The duties intend to offset the value of dumping — aka exporters selling in the U.S. at a below-normal value price — and countervailing subsidies.

CF Holdings, the U.S.’s largest UAN producer, claims the countries haven’t been fighting fair, underpricing their product by as much as 433.37%.

The more you know: More than 80% of American UAN fertilizer imports come from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago.

Bad news for the bottom line: Farm Bureau says UAN solutions are the most common nitrogen delivery vehicle, making up nearly half of nitrogen fertilizer usage. 59% of all fertilizer applied to fields is nitrogen. Roughly 25% of operating costs are attributable to UAN solutions… meaning these duties could do major damage to farmers’ bottom lines.

Insult to injury. Fertilizer costs were already projected to increase by roughly 5% between 2021 and 2022. The potential tariffs could make that a double-digit increase.