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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU Scraps Tariff on Fertilizer

BRUSSELS -- The European Union on Monday removed a tariff on a fertilizer from Russia called urea, ending more than a decade of protection for producers in the EU such as Grande Paroisse and Yara International.

The EU said Russian urea exporters, including EuroChem and Nevinnomyssky Azot, were no longer a threat because they sell the farm product "significantly above" a minimum price on which the duty is based. The EU introduced the levy -- the difference between the price floor of 115 euros ($159) per ton and the import price when this is lower -- in 1995 to punish the Russian industry for selling in Europe below domestic prices or below the production cost.

"There is no reason why the Russian exporting producers would apply lower prices if the existing measures were repealed, considering they have managed to sustain much higher prices," the EU said in a decision Monday in Brussels.

Russian companies have 16 percent of the EU's 1.5 billion euro urea market and the bloc's producers, who also face competition from nations such as Croatia and Egypt, have at least 34 percent, the EU said.

The 27-nation bloc's removal of the anti-dumping duty marks a defeat for the European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association, which wanted the trade protection prolonged for five years.