No major delays tipped for fert supplies

No major delays tipped for fert supplies

Agribusiness
 The coronavirus pandemic is not expected to have a major impact on fertiliser supplies in WA this season.

The coronavirus pandemic is not expected to have a major impact on fertiliser supplies in WA this season.

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The coronavirus pandemic is not expected to have a major impact on fertiliser supplies in WA this season.

Aa

WESTERN Australia's major fertiliser companies are not expecting any significant impact on supplies as a result of coronavirus.

CBH Fertiliser, CSBP and Summit Fertilizers have all reported their shipments have either been received or are enroute to local depots.

CSBP general manager Tanya Rybarczyk said manufacturing and despatch operations were running at normal capacity for peak season demand.

"There are only minor changes in place to ensure the safety of our team members, customers and communities in which we operate and we ask for customers' patience with these new processes," Ms Rybarczyk said.

"The business has sourced all of its phosphate and potassium raw materials with the vast majority already received and the remaining shipments enroute to WA, due to arrive between now and the third week of April.

"As such, we do not expect any major impact on our ability to manufacture, or the availability of seeding fertilisers for this season."

CBH Fertiliser business manager David Pritchard said they were following all developments in the COVID-19 outbreak and were reviewing potential impacts to their services.

"At this stage, there is no impact to our supply of fertiliser for the upcoming seeding period, with shipments recently arrived or enroute," Mr Pritchard said.

"We are continuing to operate as usual and implementing measures at our sites to keep everyone safe while maintaining the same level of service.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and receive regular updates from authorities and will keep you informed as the situation escalates."

Summit Fertilizers marketing and sales executive manager Eddy Pol said it was open for business with adequate stock of phosphates and potassium to cover all existing orders plus some.

"Our last phosphate boat has unloaded in Geraldton, is currently discharging in Kwinana and will then finish at Albany and Esperance," Mr Pol said.

"We also have adequate stocks of urea in our shed for current demand and our next ship is on the water and due to arrive in late March.

"We have follow-up ships scheduled for the following months, so we do not anticipate any issues unless later orders are all brought forward - we will monitor the situation and if this starts to happen we will restrict despatch for customers with current fixed priced contracts."

Summit's Kwinana depot is operating 24/7, as is usual this time of year, to cope with the despatch demand leading up to seeding.

Ms Rybarczyk also said CSBP's nitrogen stocks were more than adequate to meet seeding demand for CSBP customers with more shipments contracted from long-term suppliers for later in the year.

"We have recently experienced a spike in demand for cropping fertilisers as some growers decide to take delivery of fertiliser ahead of their requirements," Ms Rybarczyk said.

"In some cases, this is resulting in stock of some products being unavailable for periods between imports, this is not a supply or capacity issue but rather a timing of demand issue.

"We encourage growers to take delivery of their cropping fertilisers to meet their immediate needs only, to ensure all growers have access to their immediate requirements for essential cropping fertilisers."

All three companies have and will continue, to put in place measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on operations and to ensure the safety of their teams, customers and communities.

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