Fertilizer giant Yara organizes itself in the face of soaring energy prices

In this unprecedented configuration where fertilizers could be lacking, the group which supplies one out of two farmers in France is trying to organize itself. MEHDI FEDOUACH / AFP

The group has sharply reduced its capacities in Europe, except in France.

At a time when farmers usually begin to stock up on fertilizer for the winter, the situation continues to become tense among the main producers of nitrogen fertilizers. While half of European production capacities are already at a standstill, one of the heavyweights in the sector, the Norwegian Yara (16.6 billion euros in turnover, including 900 million in France), is preparing to close "in the next few days" one of its main factories in Belgium. “This will bring to 65% the share of our European production capacities, currently at a standstill”, details Nicolas Broutin, at the head of the tricolor subsidiary of the group which has 18 production sites on the Old Continent.

In question: the stratospheric surge in the price of natural gas (+ 350% over one year), energy which weighs up to 90% of the cost of production of certain nitrogenous fertilizers. “Currently, a ton of ammonia (made from natural gas, editor's note) costs $2,500 to produce in Europe, when it comes…

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