Ban the import of Russian fertilizer, adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on March 14, will lead to the fact that farmers will make them much less than normal, which will result in the exacerbation of the problem of the depletion of soils and the reduction of the gross harvest, said Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian agrarian Council (VAR) Mikhail Sokolov.

“The beginning of spring – the season of sowing and fertilization, but the Ukrainian farmers this year will again bring them significantly below the required minimum, this leads to soil depletion and reduction of gross harvest of agricultural products” – are his words in the press release, VAR.

The main reason that domestic producers are unable to produce sufficient amounts of fertilizers, according to him, is their high cost.

“Urea prices and popular among Ukrainian farmers of ammonium nitrate in the domestic market above the world by 30% . The total amount of overpayments to farmers for all nitrogen fertilizers, according to the consulting Agency “AAA” in 2017 amounted to about 5 billion UAH, or $200 million,” he said.

According to Maxim Sokolov, this decision can lead to even higher prices, whereas the share of mineral fertilizers in material inputs to farmers is around 30% (33,5% in wheat production, 25.9% of corn, 29,1% – barley) and continues to grow due to their price increase.

“Monopoly in the domestic market of nitrogen fertilizers is the Ostchem group owned by businessman Dmitry Firtash. Raw material for production of fertilizers by the Ostchem group is the Russian natural gas and ammonia. Therefore, the crisis in the Ukrainian market of mineral fertilizers began in 2015, once the group Ostchem lost access to cheap Russian gas”, – said the Deputy Chairman.

The only way out of the situation, in his opinion, this provision of Ukrainian chemical enterprises own resource base through the production of nitrogen fertilizers from domestic natural gas, or the construction of factories of gasification of coal, which will make nitrogen fertilizer from gas Ukrainian coal.