US paid Russians $174 million for fertilizers in March – RIA

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Russia remains America’s second-largest supplier of crop nutrients, according to the news agency

The US has ramped up fertilizer imports from Russia over the past year despite being at the forefront of the Western sanctions war against Moscow, RIA Novosti analysis of official data showed on Monday.

According to the outlet, American companies purchased $174 million worth of fertilizer in March – up by 10% from last February. Russia’s share of US imports surged to 17.1% from 9.7% over the past year, data showed.

That made Russia the second-largest exporter to the US behind Canada, which supplied $338 million worth of the commodity in March, according to the agency’s calculations.

Data shows that US imports of potash fertilizers jumped by 29% year-on-year in March to $95.5 million. The country also purchased nitrogen-containing fertilizers worth $75.3 million and phosphorus fertilizers worth $3.1 million.

Moscow has faced unprecedented sanctions from the West since the start of the Ukraine conflict in early 2022. While Russian fertilizers and grain have not been directly targeted by restrictive measures, their exports have been affected by financial, shipping, and insurance constraints placed on Moscow.

Earlier this month, US fertilizer producer CF Industries said American agriculture companies had remained “brisk” importers of Russian fertilizers since 2022.

“What’s kind of shocking is there’s been all of this focus on not funding the Russian war machine and not buying Russian gas,” CF CEO Tony Will said on a company’s earnings call.

“And yet, the US is arms wide open to take urea and UAN [urea ammonium nitrate] coming out of Russia, which is effectively just natural gas that’s been converted [into fertilizer].”

Russia is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of nitrogen-containing fertilizers, according to official data. Nitrogen-based crop nutrients are produced by mixing the chemical from the air with hydrogen from natural gas at high temperature and pressure.

The biggest American urea importers from Russia between 2022 and March 2024 were ECO Fertilizers, Swiss-based EuroChem and US giant Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), Reuters reported citing import data.

ADM imported at least 16.8 million tons of urea from Russia between February 2022 and March 2024 via five subsidiaries, the figures showed.

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