March 18, 2008 / 2:37 PM / 9 years ago

Russia sets new fertiliser export tariffs

MOSCOW, March 18 (Reuters) - Russia will set export tariffs on certain mineral fertilisers and raise existing duties on others in a move that could raise at least $300 million to buy fertilisers for local farmers, the government said on Tuesday.

Nitrogen fertiliser exports will be subject to a tariff of 8.5 percent of the customs value and potassium fertilisers will have a 5 percent tariff, the government said in a statement on its Web site,

Neither type of fertiliser is currently subject to duty.

The government also said it would raise the export tariff on fertilisers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in any combination of the three in packages not exceeding 10 kg (22 lb) to 8.5 percent, from 5 percent currently.

The tariffs will become effective one month after the official publication of an order setting them and will remain in force until Apr. 30, 2009, the government said in the statement.

Normally an official publication in the government gazette takes place within days of the Web site announcement.

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev has said 90 percent of mineral fertilisers produced in Russia are exported and only 10 percent used domestically. Twenty years ago, 80 percent were used domestically and only 20 percent exported.

In a separate statement, the Agriculture Ministry quoted Gordeyev as saying the government intended to channel 7-10 billion roubles ($297.5-$425 million) it would receive from the new tariffs to buy additional fertilisers for Russian farmers.

Russian potash miners Uralkali URKAq.L and Silvinit SILV.RTS could incur extra costs as a result of the tariffs, but analysts have said soaring world fertiliser prices would allow them to absorb the impact of any government measures.

Shrinking world grain stocks, which have pushed world prices to record highs, are giving farmers the incentive to use more fertiliser. Prices have soared accordingly, with Uralkali announcing significant increases at the end of last year. (Reporting by Aleksandras Budrys, editing by Robin Paxton and Peter Blackburn)

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