Turkey’s nitrate ban sends shockwaves across fertilizer market

Turkey’s nitrate ban sends shockwaves across fertilizer market

"LONDON (ICIS)--Participants in the fertilizer market are still reeling days after a ban was imposed by Turkey on all fertilizers containing nitrates, with many calling the move a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the government.

"I am mad about the decision. This means no import as well, at least till further notice. For ammonium nitrate, I can understand the ban [AN is explosive]. But for calcium ammonium nitrate and potassium nitrate, they [the ministry] really do not know what they have done," a Turkish supplier said.

On 8 June, the Ministry Of Agriculture and the Ministry of the Interior (security affairs) banned the sale or distribution of ammonium nitrate (AN), calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) and potassium nitrate with immediate effect.

The move comes following several car bomb attacks in Turkey this year amid fears AN can be used to make explosives. There is confusion surrounding the ban on CAN since it is not an explosive.

What has upset the industry in Turkey and outside is that the ban was introduced out of the blue without any consultations. The government has banned all fertilizers containing nitrates without determining if the fertilizer is explosive or not.

The annual market for AN and CAN in Turkey is around 2m tonnes. The country also has a large domestic industry based on AN and CAN fertilizers. As for potassium nitrate, Turkey has no production domestically. It imports potassium nitrate from Israel or Jordan."

Read more from ICIS.