"Mosaic is not competing on a level playing field,” said Mosaic President and CEO Joc O'Rourke.
Rabat – US-based fertilizer producer Mosaic filed a petition on Friday with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission to request “initiation of countervailing duty investigations” into imports of phosphate fertilizers from Morocco and Russia.
In a press release on June 26, Mosaic claimed that large volumes of “unfairly subsidized imports” from Morocco and Russia are harming its fertilizer operations and causing “distortions” in the US phosphates market.
“Mosaic is not competing on a level playing field,” said Mosaic President and CEO Joc O’Rourke in his appeal to “restore fair competition.”
“Government subsidies in Morocco and Russia give phosphate producers unfair cost advantages. This has been a long-term and increasingly injurious situation, and we have engaged in this process to demonstrate unfair trade practices by international competitors,” the statement said.
The American company is the largest US producer of finished concentrated phosphates in the world, with an operational capacity of 16.1 million tons.
Morocco is the second top phosphate mining country in the world with an extraction capacity of 33 million tons, preceded by China (140 million tons) and followed by the US (27 million tons) and Russia (12.5 million tons).
The North African country is the world’s largest exporter of raw phosphate and phosphoric acid — exporting 11 million tons in 2018 — and has the largest phosphate reserves at 50 billion tons, accounting for over 70% of global reserves.
From January to April of 2020, Morocco and Russia were the top exporters of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) to the US.
According to the ICIS Supply & Demand Database, Morocco currently claims 49.65% of the DAP market share, and Russia 34.57%. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered volume drops of 40.12% and 48.48%, respectively.
In terms of the MAP market share, Morocco holds 67.9% while Russia claims 23.44%. The COVID-19 pandemic has not heavily impacted Morocco’s share — causing only a 0.84% drop in volume — but Russia’s market share has declined by 59.87% due to the crisis.
Despite these shifts that favor domestic production, Mosaic is still looking to edge out Moroccan and Russian market influence.
“Mosaic believes in free trade and vigorous competition, and we believe we should compete on a level playing field,” the statement said. “The duties we are seeking will help ensure that North American farmers can rely on the American phosphate industry to supply critical fertilizers for the long term.”