Russia’s ministry on trade and industry is recommending the country’s fertilizer producers temporarily halt exports. Reuters says it’s a sign that sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine might impact other countries. Many major international shipping companies suspended virtually all cargo shipments to and from Russia to comply with sanctions. The Russian ministry says, “We have recommended Russian producers temporarily suspend export shipments of Russian fertilizers until carriers resume their work and provide guarantees that Russian fertilizer exports will get fully completed.” Russia produces 50 million tons of fertilizers every year, 13 percent of the world’s total. The country is a major exporter of potash, phosphate, and nitrogen-containing fertilizers, all of which are major crop and soil nutrients. “Vessels are not coming here,” a source in the Russian fertilizer industry told Reuters. “And there are no containers at all.” Russia has been considering retaliating against Western sanctions but hasn’t officially announced any steps so far.
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