Two more fertilizer plants have been forced to shut down in Europe over high gas prices, placing further strain on the farming industry and global food supply chain.
The exorbitant cost of natural gas and other fuels was reportedly behind the pair of fertilizer production facilities in Poland closing their doors, at least temporarily.
Grupa Azoty, the European Union’s second-largest fertilizer producer and the owner of one of the plants, cited record-breaking prices for fuel all across Europe for being forced to halt operations.
“Due to record prices for natural gas, the main raw material for Grupa Azoty SA’s production, the company decided on August 22, 2022, to temporarily shut down its nitrogen fertilizer, caprolactam, and polyamide 6 production plants from August 23, 2022,” the company said in a statement.
“Although there are no problems with the availability of gas, the current situation on the gas market, which determines the profitability of production activity, is exceptional and completely beyond the company’s control.”
Bloomberg is reporting that because of this shutdown, there will not be nearly enough fertilizer available for the next sowing season.
Coupled with drought conditions afflicting the current harvest system, the fertilizer shortage will have a huge impact on the global food supply.
Grupa Azoty says it will continue to monitor the price level of all raw materials and goods needed to make fertilizer production profitable once again before deciding to reopen the plant.
The company did not give any indication as to when it expects to resume operations, however.
Meanwhile, a second Polish fertilizer producer announced on the same day that it was shutting down its plant.
ANWIL revealed that will also stop producing fertilizer due to skyrocketing energy costs.
“Due to an unprecedented and record-breaking increase in natural gas prices in Europe, ANWIL has decided to temporarily suspend the production of nitrogenous fertilizers,” the company announced last week.
“The company is constantly monitoring the situation on the commodity market.
“As soon as macroeconomic conditions on the gas market stabilize, production will resume.”
ANWIL also cited the war in Ukraine, blaming “Russian aggression” for killing off fertilizer production and other industries.