In an analysis of the new grain agreement, WRP (Wtadomosci Rolnicze Polska, Poland) writes that “Grain Agreement 2.0” (a renewed and extended agreement of the Black Sea Grain Initiative) should help farmers with fertilizer prices. Russia wants to see an easing of sanctions on Russian grain products and fertilizers. Sanctions aren’t the only sticking point, though. There is the issue of transport and concerns over the “fear factor” (those not under sanctions often must do work with those shareholders or owners who are. Business contacts potentially are broken off, either because of the risk of possible financial consequences or for image reasons. Finally, Russian banks are cut off from the SWIFT system.
The International Food Policy Research Institute elaborates on these concerns including insight into imports of fertilizers from Russia. Those imports fell compared to 2021 levels between January and August: imports of potash and urea fell by 16.5 percent and 22.8 percent, respectively. As with wheat, most of the decline occurred in the first weeks of the war. Monthly import figures have improved somewhat since then. Meanwhile, imports of diammonium phosphate (DAP) from Russia exceed the 2021 level, according to senior research fellows Joseph Glauber and David Laborde. The research fellows see good news and bad news. “The lifting of trade sanctions has helped sustain exports of some agricultural products and fertilizers from Russia and Belarus, but exports of potash from Belarus and anhydrous ammonia from Russia, which have traditionally used EU and Ukrainian port facilities, have fallen significantly.”