IFA Inputs Project Team Leader John Coughlan has accused Fertilizer Europe (FE) of seriously undermining the competitiveness of EU agriculture and destroying farmers’ incomes. He called on Trade Defence Instruments (TDI) members to vote against the Commission’s proposal to impose antidumping (AD) measures on UAN next Tuesday.
He was speaking at a Copa Cogeca briefing session for Member State TDI members yesterday in Brussels.
Mr Coughlan said, “FE’s campaign for the renewal of the AD measure on imported ammonium nitrate (AN) and a new one on UAN (urea & ammonium nitrate mixtures) will cost farmers an estimated €7.5bn and Irish farmers €115m over the five-year term of the measure. The actions of FE are both irresponsible and reprehensible. It shows a complete disconnect between the EU fertiliser industry and the precarious income situation that exists on many farms. Despite repeated warnings from IFA and Copa, FE has demonstrated a complete inability to comprehend the enormity of the impact of these AD measures on family farm incomes”.
“FE has ignored the fact that farmers are price takers and don’t have the luxury of passing increased costs downstream in the agri-food chain. The effects of renewed AN and new UAN anti-dumping measures will be devastating, especially given current market conditions and the long-term outlook of low world grain prices. The additional costs arising from these proposed AD measures will further erode the EU’s export competitiveness and far outweigh any benefits that could be gained by a small handful of EU fertiliser producers.”
“FE’s assertion that ‘all fertilizers represent more of an investment to the farmer rather than a cost’ clearly demonstrates a frightening lack of understanding of farmers’ businesses. It is abundantly evident that any suggestion that mineral fertilisers and in particular UAN represents an insignificant cost for dedicated UAN users is a total misrepresentation of the facts. However, FE’s actions in perpetuating this mistruth in its recent submission to the EU’s DG Trade investigation team are deplorable.”
John Coughlan called on Member State TDI representatives at yesterday’s briefing to vote against the EU Commission’s proposal for the imposition of AD measurers on UAN at next Tuesday’s TDI committee meeting as it will decimate farmers’ incomes.