Global fertilizer trade 2021-2023: What happened after war-related price spikes

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BY CHARLOTTE HEBEBRAND AND JOSEPH GLAUBER
OPEN ACCESS | CC-BY-4.0

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 sent a shock through global fertilizer markets. All agricultural trade in the region was disrupted for a time, and a number of countries imposed economic sanctions on major fertilizer producers Russia and its ally Belarus (the latter already targeted pre-invasion by European Union fertilizer export sanctions). Prices spiked, resulting in fears of widespread impacts on agricultural production. Since then, fertilizer prices have fallen from those initial highs and new trade routes and patterns have emerged.

With the Russia-Ukraine war now into its third year, this post reviews how fertilizer trade has adjusted in 2023 following those initial market disruptions. We focus on the evolution of fertilizer exports from Russia and Belarus—together they accounted for 40% of global potash trade in 2020, while Russia accounted for 16% and 12% of global nitrogen and phosphate trade, respectively.

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