The Commerce Department issued a preliminary finding Tuesday that imports of urea ammonium nitrate solutions (UAN) from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago were sold into the U.S. at below market prices, paving the way for anti-dumping duties and drawing the ire of farmers that need affordable fertilizer.
The preliminary ruling that Russia and Trinidad and Tobago are “dumping” UAN onto the U.S. market means Commerce will begin collecting cash deposits this week until the duties and the ruling are finalized. The final determination won’t be issued until summer.
Separately, Commerce issued a preliminary ruling in November that Russia and Trinidad and Tobago are unfairly subsidizing UAN exports to the U.S. That decision will allow the department to collect countervailing duties (CVD) on top of the dumping duties.
The International Trade Commission found last summer that UAN imports from the two countries “materially injure” domestic producers, a ruling that allowed Commerce to continue its dumping and CVD investigations.
All of this means that a key fertilizer is going to get more expensive for U.S. farmers, according to National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington.
“We are deeply disappointed by this development,” Edgington told Agri-Pulse. “Corn growers are already feeling the financial pressure from the high costs of nitrogen fertilizers, which will only increase once these tariffs are put in place. The expected price hikes and fertilizer shortages that the tariffs will create may cause farmers to change their planting rotations right before planting season.”
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The ITC and Commerce Department were petitioned by the Illinois-based CF Industries Holdings, Inc., to impose duties on UAN imports from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago and Edgington repeated NCGA’s plea to the company to withdraw that petition.
But the company is lauding the latest ruling out of Commerce.
“Commerce’s affirmative preliminary antidumping and countervailing duty determinations not only address unfair trade practices that have harmed the U.S. UAN industry and its workers, but also help ensure that this vital product remains readily available to U.S. farmers from reliable domestic suppliers,” said CF Industries President and CEO Tony Will.
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