Mosaic files petition for US to investigate Morocco, Russia phosphates imports

Author: Sylvia Traganida

2020/06/26

LONDON (ICIS)--Mosaic is filing petitions with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission that request the initiation of countervailing duty investigations into imports of phosphate fertilizers from Morocco and Russia, the US-based fertilizer producer said on Friday.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by TIM KEETON/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10600214d)A farmer ploughs his fields for planting seeds in Leicestershire, Britain, 02 April 2020. Farmers in Britain started preparations for a seson amid the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the Covid-19 disease pandemic.Farming season preparations in Britain, Leicestershire, United Kingdom - 02 Apr 2020

Mosaic said in a press release that large volumes of unfairly subsidized imports from Morocco and Russia are causing significant harm to Mosaic's operations.

Mosaic is the largest producer of finished concentrated phosphates in the world with 16.1m tonnes of operational capacity, with mines and production facilities in Florida and processing plants in Louisiana.

"Mosaic believes in free trade and vigorous competition, and we believe we should compete on a level playing field. The duties we are seeking will help ensure that North American farmers can rely on the American phosphate industry to supply critical fertilizers for the long term," Mosaic President and CEO Joc O'Rourke said.

The producer is asking to restore fair competition, since foreign subsidies are causing distortions in the US phosphates market and will participate actively in the proceedings.

The company added that "Mosaic is not competing on a level playing field. Government subsidies in Morocco and Russia give phosphate producers unfair cost advantages. This has been a long-term and increasingly injurious situation, and we have engaged in this process to demonstrate unfair trade practices by international competitors."

In January-April 2020, Morocco and Russia were the top exporters of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) to the US, according to data accessible via the ICIS Supply & Demand Database.

Volumes have dropped compared to last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

US DAP Top 5 Imports (tonnes) January-April

Country 2019 2020 Market share (%) YOY change (%)
Morocco 313,891 187,968 49.65 -40.12
Russia 254,047 130,891 34.57 -48.48
Saudi Arabia 48,533 55,184 14.58 13.70
Mexico 15,249 1,709 0.45 -88.79
Canada 929 1,701 0.45 83.10
World 634,890 378,608 100 -40.37
Data Source: US Census Bureau

US MAP Top 5 Imports (tonnes) January-April

Country 2019 2020 Market share (%) YOY change (%)
Morocco 388,895 385,620 67.90 -0.84
Russia 331,747 133,114 23.44 -59.87
Saudi Arabia 82,548 38,322 6.75 -53.58
Mexico 45,730 4,654 0.82 -89.82
Lithuania 11,393 3,272 0.58 -71.28
World 868,916 567,922 100 -34.64
Data Source: US Census Bureau

US DAP Top 5 Imports (tonnes) January-December

Country 2018 2019 Market share (%) YOY change (%)
Morocco 660,667 696,235 60.10 5.38
Russia 283,432 300,538 25.94 6.04
Saudi Arabia 50,026 101,183 8.74 102.26
Mexico 14,258 51,672 4.46 262.41
Canada 10,292 3,357 0.29 -67.38
World 1,124,352 1,158,426 100 3.03
Data Source: US Census Bureau

US MAP Top 5 Imports (tonnes) January-December

Country 2018 2019 Market share (%) YOY change (%)
Morocco 839,608 1,154,119 61.09 37.46
Russia 633,495 442,356 23.41 -30.17
Saudi Arabia 41,842 160,393 8.49 283.33
Mexico 94,152 107,370 5.68 14.04
Lithuania 162 12,056 0.64 7341.98
World 1,699,984 1,889,334 100 11.14
Data Source: US Census Bureau