With world fertilizer prices rising and supply falling in Vietnam, prices have recently soared, worrying farmers who are preparing to sow the autumn-winter crop.
Duong Van Thanh, a farmer in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh, was shocked last week to learn about fertilizer prices. Urea was up 30 percent to VND12,000 per kilogram, diammonium phosphate and potassium prices had risen by 47 percent and 14 percent, he said.
“[But] rice prices have dropped by VND1,000 per kilogram since July,” he lamented.
Some distributors in the delta sell urea at VND12,500. Fertilizer companies said the urea wholesale price was VND11,400, up almost 10 percent since mid-August and 84 percent year-on-year.
Last year urea had cost only VND6,200.
The Vietnam Fertilizer Association said the recent rise in world prices had sent domestic prices skyrocketing.
However, many fertilizer importers and companies attributed the price rise to a supply shortage.
Distributors in delta provinces confirmed that supply had fallen from both domestic manufacturers and importers.
Vu Duy Hai, CEO of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Vinacam Company, said demand had been rising since August and supply was not enough to meet it.
Fertilizer imports were lower this year and domestic availability was also down due to exports.
“The companies used to stockpile large quantities of fertilizers in past years but their stocks are now almost empty,” he said.