November 23, 2011
World fertiliser price hike creates fears of industry's price cartel
Fears that there may be a price cartel in the fertilisers industry's operation have been prompted due to massive increases in fertiliser prices on the world and European markets.
The agriculture committee of the European Parliament has called on the Directorate General of Competition (DG Competition) to investigate the fertiliser market amid concerns about rising prices.
Mairead McGuinness MEP confirmed that the agriculture committee, on which she and fellow MEP Liam Aylwardserve, is due to vote on a farm inputs report next week.
The report recommends that DG Competition opens a 'sectoral investigation' in to the fertiliser industry.
ICMSA president Jackie Cahill said his organisation and others had long believed that a cartel exists in relation to the supply and cost of fertiliser.
Irish fertiliser prices rose by GBP0.24 (US$0.37) between August last year and August this year, according to recent figures from the CSO.
"This needs to be addressed at European level as it is not possible to address it given the relatively small market in Ireland," he said.
Meanwhile, ICMSA members said co-ops should be prohibited from linking milk price to the level of input trading with co-ops.