Nigeria had to acquire emergency potash supplies from Canada in April after being unable to import the essential fertiliser from Russia owing to Western sanctions, according to the chairman of Nigeria’s sovereign investment body, NSIA.
NSIA’s head, Uche Orji, declined to comment on pricing. However, according to commodities pricing service Argus Media, spot rates for delivery to west Africa are up more than 250 percent from last year, throwing a severe blow to the country’s finances.
The action exemplifies one of the numerous unexpected repercussions of sanctions imposed to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which it refers to as a “special military operation.”
The invasion, according to the International Monetary Fund, has given a “major negative shock” to Sub-Saharan Africa, pushing up food and energy costs and placing the most vulnerable people at risk of starvation.
The added strain comes as many nations continue to struggle with the long-running COVID-19 outbreak.
Nigeria has been grappling with double-digit inflation for years, which accelerated to 15.92 percent last month, and the country’s 200 million people will face even higher food prices this year and next as the agricultural sector passes on the increased costs of imported wheat, diesel, and fertiliser.
“Because Russia was unable to supply, we purchased spot from Canadian merchants. The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria aided in the beginning of the dialogue with producers “Reuters spoke with Orji.
As part of the Nigerian government’s plan to enhance its ability to make blended fertiliser, NSIA negotiates the import of raw fertiliser components such as potash.
Orji said that Nigerian potash stockpiles are sufficient to meet 40% of blending demand, and that the country has purchased three cargoes of Canadian potash, which should arrive within the next month. Normally, Russia sends five shipments to the nation each year.
Western sanctions, as well as self-sanctioning by many global firms and financial institutions, have wreaked havoc on anybody dealing in Russian-made goods, driving up energy and commodity prices to new highs.
Since 2019, Nigeria’s only supply has been Russia’s Uralkali, a significant worldwide manufacturer of the agricultural fertiliser.
Uralkali did not respond to our request for comment. There was no quick response from the Canadian government.
Although the potash producer has escaped penalties so far, Russian tycoon Dmitry Mazepin resigned from the board and sold his majority position in Uralchem after being sanctioned by the EU in March. The majority of Uralkali is owned by Uralchem.
Orji stated that talks were still underway to determine whether a Russian delivery could be arranged.
Since last year, when the EU put sanctions on Belarus, the world’s third largest producer after Russia and Canada, the price of potash has risen.
According to commodities pricing firm Argus Media, the price jumped in early March as a result of Russian financial penalties, reaching a high of $1,125 per tonne for goods sent to South Africa at the end of April. Belarus and Russia together account for 38% of global potash supply, which are currently in doubt.
According to the local fertiliser group FEPSAN, Nigeria imported roughly 200,000 tonnes of potash last year, one of three main elements for fertiliser mixing. Nigeria imports slightly under 40% of its raw materials, with the balance supplied domestically. Local blended output was 1.5 million tonnes last year, virtually equaling domestic demand.
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