In his nine years selling fertilizer to corn and rice farmers in West Africa, Malick Niang says he has never seen such a severe supply crunch—or such high prices.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, shipping companies have avoided docking at St. Petersburg, Russia, to collect goods, Mr. Niang said. That, together with the impact of the West’s financial sanctions against Moscow, means fertilizer exports from Russia—the world’s largest producer—have fallen sharply. Mr. Niang contacted sellers elsewhere, such as in Senegal and Morocco, but was told their order books are full until the end of the year.
Smaller harvests loom from Argentina to Indonesia, and developing countries are bracing for higher food costs.