Charlie McConalogue, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine of Ireland

“Stocks of fertilizer are lower, but overall usage and demand will also be lower”

“While stocks of fertilizer are lower, it is expected that overall usage and demand will also be lower,” said Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine of Ireland, Charlie McConalogue. The minister was responding to a parliamentary question put to him recently by Fianna Fáil TD, Pádraig Ó Sullivan. He asked the minister if he envisaged a shortage of urea in the country in the first quarter of 2022.

For farmers, currently, urea seems to be the most scarce of the fertilizers and there are reports of what is available being rationed and limited in certain instances as a result. In terms of general fertilizer costs, they have more than doubled on this time last year with rising gas prices – an essential element of fertilizer production – contributing to the increase, as well as other rising input costs and issues with raw materials.

Speaking in the Dáil regarding a potential urea shortage in 2022, Minister McConalogue said he was aware of the current significant challenges in what is an extremely competitive and challenging market.

“Fertiliser stocks, including urea, are generally lower now compared to the same period last year. The availability of credit and high costs mean that fertilizer is being imported in smaller quantities,” he said.
He explained that he raised this issue at a recent EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting where he called on the EU Commission to consider all options to ease the pressure on farmers.

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