Fertilizer prices are, at long last, receding from the peak levels seen in May this year. The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) has confirmed that urea fertilizer prices are now 20% cheaper than in May. After a discussion with 3 fertilizer associations, department officials attributed the lower prices to reduced import costs.
DIT Director-General Wattanasak Sur-iam confirmed after the discussion that prices of chemical fertilizers have already fallen by 20% from peak levels seen in May. The discussion was held with representatives from the Thai Fertilizer and Agricultural Supplies Association, Thailand Fertilizer Producer & Trade Association, and the Thai Agro Business Association.
Mr. Wattanasak said a sack of urea fertilizer – widely used in Thailand – is currently priced at 1,300 baht. The price of one sack rose to as high as 1,600 baht in May this year. He said all 3 associations have been asked to remind sellers and sales agents to set prices in accordance with the actual cost. The department will dispatch officials to inspect prices in various localities. If opportunistic price gouging is found, officials will take legal action. The director-general said the maximum penalty for fertilizer price gouging is either 7 years imprisonment or 140,000 baht in fines, or a combination of both.
Kong-ek Plengsakdi Prakaspesat, president of the Thai Fertilizer and Agricultural Supplies Association, said his association will remind its members to reduce fertilizer prices in response to lower costs. He noted fertilizer prices are not expected to increase severely from now on, unlike earlier this year. He explained that planting season has ended in Europe and there is now an excessive amount of fertilizers. Nonetheless, he said the Russia-Ukraine conflict needs to be monitored as it could impact natural gas prices. Natural gas is an important requirement in the production of chemical fertilizers. Mr. Kong-ek Plengsakdi also said a weakened baht would translate into higher fertilizer costs, as all chemical fertilizers in Thailand are imported. (NNT)