Changing natural gas market reopens EU fertilizer plants

An economist says increased European natural gas inventories have lowered prices, allowing some fertilizer producers to restart production.

Teri Viswanath with CoBank tells Brownfield the gas scarcity measures that caused plants to shut down are no longer in place after a mild winter and rebuilding of inventories. “Yes, we are beginning to see more fertilizer in Europe with the restart of those plants but we are certainly not out of the woods, and certainly over the long run, we’re going to be hard-pressed for those plants.

And she says that’s because of several factors. “We still have a conflict raging in Europe. We still don’t have a resolution to Russian-piped natural gas, and so we still have a setup for what could be a very volatile winter ahead.”

Viswanath says Europe exports fertilizer, but they also see fertilizer production as a national security issue, and another cold winter driving natural gas demand could quickly endanger fertilizer production again.

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