from Natural News
(Natural News) Food prices have already gone up more than 30 percent around the world, but a continuing shortage of fertilizer means that they are about to get higher. Prices for synthetic nutrients are at their highest levels this year, and it could mean weaker harvests and ballooning grocery bills.
Prices for urea, a popular nitrogen-based fertilizer, skyrocketed earlier in September to the highest it has ever been since 2012. Nitrogen-based fertilizers are important crop nutrients, but they are made through a process that is dependent on natural gas or coal.
With these fuels currently in very tight supply, fertilizer plants in Europe are forced to cut down production. China has also curbed exports to ensure that the country has enough domestic supply.
“As fertilizer prices continue to rise, farmers will either cut application rates, cut fertilizer entirely in hopes for lower future pricing, or cut other farm products to account for the bigger expected spend,” Alexis Maxwell, an analyst at Green Markets said.
With the fertilizer markets seeing an unprecedented lack of supply and record prices, more food inflation is expected around the globe. Benchmark wheat prices, for instance, have already shot up, and coffee is in near multi-year highs.
In the U.S., corn growers are seeing prices that are more than double than they paid for the previous years. The high fertilizer prices could mean a smaller corn crop as corn use more nitrogen fertilizers. To cut costs, some farmers switched to soybeans instead. ... Continue reading >>>