LONDON (ICIS)--The EU is considering imposing anti-dumping duties (ADD) on urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizer imports from Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US, according to an official transcript released late on Wednesday.
The European Commission – the EU's executive body – received a complaint on 29 June from industry body Fertilizers Europe, which alleges UAN imports are being dumped into the European market, “thereby causing injury" to the 28-country bloc's industry.
According to the official transcript, Fertilizers Europe claims the imports have had “a negative impact on the level of prices charged and the market share" held by EU producers, which it said had resulted in substantial adverse effects on the overall performance and the financial situation domestic producers.
The industry group drew particular attention to Russian UAN imports, because they enjoy reduced natural gas costs for production, it said, when compared to European rivals:
“According to the evidence in the complaint, gas – accounting for substantially more than 17% of the cost of production of the product under investigation – is subject to dual pricing in Russia,” the Commission said.
The Brussels-based body plans plans to investigate UAN imports from the three nations in the period between July 2017 and June 2018, while “assessment of injury” will run from 1 January 2015 to the end of the investigation period.
The organisation has invited representatives from producers and interested parties from all nations involved to submit information, plus evidence for and against the proposed legislation.
The European fertilizers market has reacted strongly to the news, with traders and producers alike swapping opinions.
“Hold on to your wallet! If the EC [European Commission] anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports in the EU of mixtures of urea and ammonium nitrate originating in Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and the US gets through, you will be paying more for your UAN going forward,” said Helm Great Britain – the UK arm of Germany-based fertilizer producer Helm AG, which also has facilities in the US – on social media network Twitter.
A trader added: “Crazy situation, especially where the EU can’t produce enough [UAN] of its own, and relies upon imports for the balance. It’s more about EU producers protecting their pockets."
European fertilizer producers have been enduring high production costs of late, primarily on increased natural gas charges.
“[The proposed legislation] is all just speculation for now. Historically, the EU cannot [impose anti-dumping legislation] retrospectively,” said a second trader.
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