Soaring gas prices halt production at Romania’s largest fertilizer plant

Sedinta de guvern la Palatul Victoria, vineri 26 noiembrie 2021. Inquam Photos / George Calin

Romania’s largest chemical fertilizer producer is the first victim of spiking gas prices.

Azomures announced it would halt production due to high energy prices, a move that could seriously impact food production next year.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said Tuesday the government would find a solution and specialists were looking into why the company ran into trouble.

Azomures is “very necessary for agriculture producers,” the premier said. “I can’t tell you exactly what we’ll do because we’re still assessing it.”

Adrian Chesnoiu, the agriculture minister on Monday said he would propose measures to maintain food production and ensure the stability of agricultural production.

Azomures, a unit of Swiss conglomerate Ameropa, said on Monday it was preparing to half its productions due to an increase in gas prices.

The chemical producer is one of the main consumers of natural gas and accounts for about 10% of the domestic gas consumption. It about half of all the fertilizers used by Romanian farmers.

Sursa: Pexels

The company appealed to the government to “to act upon the liberties afforded by the European policy frameworks to alleviate the problems of gas shortage and high energy prices within a timely fashion so that Romania’s food security is not compromised in 2022.”

Azomures said the current crisis in the energy market is affecting the fertiliser industry in Europe and around the world.

“Countries such as Russia, China, Turkey, and Egypt have restricted exports. Coupled with low local production, Europe is now facing a crisis in agriculture and industry,” the company said

The decrease in fertilizer production could lead to a decline of up to 30% of next year’s crops.

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