This winter has seen a gas supply crunch, which has tightened urea supplies, as well as other gas-based fertilizers, and increased prices. Reuters claims that this crunch followed a campaign by the government that asked millions of households to make the switch from coal to natural gas.
The NDRC reportedly said in a statement: “Fertilizer supplies and prices during spring planting concern stable development of agriculture production and are of vital interest to farmers.
“Fertilizer supplies in some regions are quite tight and prices have gone up quickly.”
In order to tackle this issue, Reuters claims that the NDRC has asked a number of coal and natural gas producers (including Sinopec, CNOOC and China National Petroleum Corp.) to fill contracted deliveries to bolster efforts as the heating season comes to a close, in order to ensure both feedstock and fuel supplies to fertilizer producers.
Reuters adds that the Chinese state planner has also asked railway bureaus to prioritise fertilizer and raw material transportation during preparations for spring planting.
In the statement, the NDRC reportedly said that China will add an additional 5.5 million t of fertilizer into its reserves in two years time. The state planner added that this will be used should a supply crunch during future spring plantings occur.
The NDRC has reportedly also told both local companies and governments to instruct farmers to switch to organic fertilizers, as opposed to chemical fertilizers. Beijing is planning to achieve zero growth of both chemical fertilizers and pesticides by 2020.