German Farmers Set To Lose Up to 3 Million Tonnes of Harvest Due to EU Ukraine-Related Sanctions

© Sputnik / Ilya Naimushin / Go to the photo bankRussian farmers load fertilizer into a sowing machine in Krasnoyarsk region, Russia.
Russian farmers load fertilizer into a sowing machine in Krasnoyarsk region, Russia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.05.2022
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The European Union is currently working on a new wave of sanctions that might further limit fertiliser imports from Russia and Belarus despite the looming agricultural crisis that may affect millions.
German farmers are sounding the alarm over a potential contraction in their output and further price increases this year caused by the EU's sanctions against Russia and Belarus, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten has reported.
EU sanctions imposed in the context of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine limit fertiliser imports, namely potassium chloride and potash fertilisers, which many European farmers rely upon.
German farmers expect that this year's output may be 3 million tonnes less than previous years as a result of current measures. The fertiliser shortage will hit grain crops particularly heavily as countries already fear shortages in their global supplies due to the conflict in Ukraine and difficulties in maritime trading routes.
Another aftermath of the EU’s Ukraine-related sanctions targeting fertilisers may be the growth of consumer food prices, the German news outlet warned. In 2021, Europe imported 4.6 million tonnes of a total 13 million of fertilisers from Belarus and Russia. With shipments from these countries limited by April’s sanctions package, the supply shortage is set to raise already high fertiliser prices – and as such consumer prices - even more, farmers warned.
Boosting local fertiliser production in the EU and elsewhere in hopes of reducing prices is also scheduled to confront challenges posed by western sanctions, as manufacturing requires large power consumption and cheap energy sources, both areas which have been impacted by the Ukraine-related measures.
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Despite these difficulties, EU countries continue to seek to do away with Russian gas even amid prospects of surging energy prices and unemployment. For his part, Germany’s Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil has gone on the record as stating that an immediate ban on Russian gas will lead to a notable reduction of jobs in Germany. Heil has called to avoid such an outcome.
EU countries are currently discussing their sixth package of sanctions against Russia and Belarus. With many member-states already experiencing negative economic results from earlier packages, the EU is struggling to negotiate conditions on banning or limiting oil imports from Russia due to the opposition of several countries within the bloc. The new sanctions package also reportedly includes proposals on further limiting fertiliser imports from Russian and Belarusian chemical companies, even as the threat of global hunger and the lack of grain and crops looms.
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