Phosphate Tariff Reductions Announced

With harvest wrapping up farmers are looking at next year as attention turns to that upcoming crop. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says inflation is eating into the bottom line of farmers adding to that our record price increases in fertilizer. Grassley hopes to change that. He’s written to the Department of Commerce for years asking for reduced tariffs on Moroccan phosphates.

The United States company has 82% of the market. So why do they need protection from Morocco phosphate? It doesn’t make sense to me. So we continue to send letters.

From 2020 to 2022, phosphate fertilizer prices have increased 230%. And while senators and representatives continued to send letters on the subject, Grassley did not anticipate much action. But the Department announced after an administrative review it will lower tariffs on phosphate.

The Commerce Department announced it is lowering tariffs on Moroccan phosphate from 20% to 2%. That’s another shock. That was such a big reduction.

Grassley calls it obvious positive news for farmers because of increased competition.

Because there’ll be more competition to the American company that has 82% of the market ought to get the price down. And hopefully it does.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association is pushing for the next farm bill for improved competition and transparency in the fertilizer industry, including a mandate for the USDA to assess pricing practices used by fertilizer companies and the effects of the price increase on both farmers and consumers. Grassley is in support.

I intend to introduce legislation that mandates a comprehensive study of the fertilizer industry by the Department of Agriculture.

As of 2018 the USDA Economic Research Service says 79% of US corn acres and 42% of soybean acres use phosphate fertilizer, about 300 million acres in total using some type of phosphorus, and 2015 data shows the nation used 7.8 million short tons of phosphate.