Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Europe forced to turn to OCP to meet its fertilizers needs – The North Africa Post

One of the few viable alternatives to Russian fertilizer is Morocco, which already accounts for 40% of Europe’s imports of phosphate, said Jacob Hansen, Director General of Fertilizers Europe.

Hansen made the comments to European press as the global fight for fertilizer, a vital resource for food production, emerged as a by-product of the Russia/Ukraine war, leaving European and other countries scrambling for alternatives.

“Gas is a major raw material for fertilizers’ production, and Europe imports almost 40% of the latter from Russia”, affirmed Mr. Hensen, noting that this situation leaves European states facing difficult and potentially limited choices in how to ensure their food security, especially with winter now approaching.

50% of Europe’s food production is done with mineral fertilizers.

“A third of our imports of ammonia, which is a very basic fertilizer, and the phosphate and potash, come from Russia.” Overall, “60% of imported fertilizers come from Russia and Belarus,” he said.

Two of the main chemical nutrients used in commercial fertilizers are phosphate and potash, or potassium chloride.

During the first quarter of 2022, Morocco’s state-owned OCP group, the country’s phosphate rock miner and phosphoric acid manufacturer and fertilizer producer, recorded a turnover of €24 billion- up by 77% compared to last year, over the same period.

OCP officials claim that production could increase by half over the next four year.

“The most obvious solution is to buy more fertilizers from North Africa – particularly Morocco – and the Middle East, maybe South Africa,” said Hansen.

“So obviously, Morocco is encouraged to step up their production to fill the gap.”

Fertilizers Europe represents most of the European Union’s mineral fertilizer manufacturers. The association’s membership comprises 17 fertilizer manufacturers from countries across the Union and eight national fertilizer associations.

Source: north africa post

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By Chala Dandessa

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