Fertiliser prices have reached a record high on the back of the war in Ukraine and its repercussions on trade flows, CRU head of fertilisers Chris Lawson says.

Russia is a key exporter of nitrogen, phosphate and potash fertilisers.

But Russia’s war was just the icing on a very ordinary cake. Fertiliser supply disruptions in Canada, China’s export ban, a pre-existing sanction on Belarus exports, and Europe’s energy crisis meant prices for the crop nutrients were already on the tear long before the February 24 start to Russia’s invasion.

The US Department of Agriculture says a lack of supply has doubled fertiliser prices now compared to 2021. Commodities analysts say the peak has yet to be seen.

Less fertiliser means smaller crops, and smaller crops means higher food prices (and absolute food shortages).

Earlier this week a precious consignment of potash hit the dirt due to a massive train derailment in Alberta, Canada – another major exporter.

No injuries were reported, but farmers (and consumers) will certainly be feeling the pain.