DA banking on China fertilizer deal
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is optimistic it will seal a deal to procure fertilizers from China, even if the government has yet to receive a firm offer from its Chinese counterpart.
Amid the ongoing bilateral negotiations for the supply of fertilizers, including biofertilizers and biostimulants, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian has assured that China would give priority to the Philippines, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a virtual briefing on Tuesday.
“We have been talking with Ambassador Huang Xilian on the country’s ongoing request to buy fertilizers from China, and we are optimistic about the positive result of our discussions regarding the potential trade,” said Dar.
China has imposed a ban on the export of fertilizer to secure its local supply but it is still delivering fertilizer to the Philippines in small quantities. It also donated P4 million worth of fertilizers and farm machinery units to the Philippines last week, hoping to alleviate the impact of surging fertilizer prices, in turn driven by rising global demand amid limited supply.
Data from the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority showed that retail price of prilled urea fertilizer averaged at P2,691.16 per 50-kilo bag from March 21 to March 25. It has more than doubled from levels a year ago.
The average price of granular urea also soared to P2,650.85 per 50-kilo bag from P1,051.42 year-on-year while ammosul is priced at P1,407.39 per 50-kilo bag from P611.21 a year ago.
Dar said the war between Russia and Ukraine had curbed the global supply of agricultural inputs, particularly fertilizers, feed wheat and corn.
Together, Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of global wheat exports. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat while Ukraine is the fifth largest.
The US Department of Agriculture had raised its forecast for the country’s corn imports to 750,000 metric tons in market year 2022 to 2023, which will start by July this year. This was higher than its previous projection of 500,000 MT of corn imports, which it attributed to the higher prices of feed wheat caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. INQ
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