The Ministry of Economy of Ukraine hosted a meeting between business leaders and Government officials to discuss the supply of mineral fertilizers to farmers. Importers emphasized the need to promptly update the global indicative prices used at customs.
According to the entrepreneurs, in recent months, global prices for mineral fertilizers have dropped significantly, sometimes by half. However, customs still requires importers to clear such cargoes using the old indicative prices, which leads to disputes and downtime of fertilizer shipments at customs.
As spring approaches, farmers need to apply fertilizers to the soil in time, otherwise the harvest will be much less than planned. Currently, the supply of fertilizers to farmers is estimated at 10-25% of the required level.
“To ensure timely agricultural operations, we need to promptly update customs on global prices for fertilizers and other goods that have significant price fluctuations. We need to analyze world prices in the next two days, and then start sending updated data from SE Derzhzovnishinform to customs weekly so that duties are paid as per the real value of goods coming to Ukraine,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine.
Acting Head of the State Customs Service of Ukraine Serhii Zviahintsev admitted that customs did not always have time to adapt promptly to changes in world prices, but pledged to convey relevant information from the Ministry of Economy to each inspector. However, he also pointed to changes in the geography of fertilizer supplies, with increasing imports from Asian countries bordering russia, raising suspicions that russian fertilizers currently under sanctions could be entering the market.
Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine, assured the participants that Ukraine was preparing measures to respond to such situations. The Government is considering options such as increasing customs duties on goods from non-WTO countries or products of unknown origin. This step will make it unprofitable to import suspicious goods that may originate from russia.