Fertilizer costs threaten China's food security

Updated: 2011-07-25 17:37

By Cai Muyuan (chinadaily.com.cn)

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The continuously rising price of potash fertilizer is constraining the country's agricultural development, the Economic Information Daily reported Monday.

According to the international potash fertilizer price negotiation disclosed on June 30, the CIF (cost insurance and freight) price of potash fertilizer for import into China was set at $470 per ton for the second half of this year. The price has risen $70 per ton compared to that of the first half of this year, a price increase of 17.5 percent, the newspaper reported.

According to Li Qiang, a spokesperson for Sinochem Group, the international price rise of potash fertilizer is partly caused by the international price rise of raw materials and resources. "However, the most important and fundamental reason is the intensified monopoly of the international suppliers in this field", the newspaper cited Li as saying.

Feng Mingwei, the deputy general manager of Sinofert Holdings Limited, the largest fertilizer importer in China, said "Our dependence on imported potash fertilizer is at a rate of above 50 percent averagely. It is a threat to our national food security."

In a bid to cope with the price rises and potash fertilizer shortages, China needed to establish a strategic fertilizer reserve system for the off-season as well as strengthen the "negotiation mechanism of potash fertilizer import", Feng told the reporter.