Fertilizer Group Warns Europe Plant Shutdowns May Turn Permanent

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(Bloomberg) -- Temporary shutdowns of European fertilizer plants in the face of soaring natural gas prices could become permanent, an industry group warned.

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Natural gas, used as a feedstock for nitrogen fertilizers, usually accounts for as much as 80% of production costs, Fertilizers Europe said in a statement Thursday. The current “exceptionally high” prices have already forced numerous plants to cut production, and a toolbox proposed by the European Commission to address the shock doesn’t go far enough to end the problem, it said.

“If this situation is not addressed urgently, there is a real risk that temporary closures will lead to permanent closures or relocation of our sector outside Europe,” said Jacob Hansen, director general at Fertilizers Europe, which represents 17 manufacturers and eight national associations.

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