Comprendre les enjeux de l'agriculture

According to the ‘Union des Industries de la Fertilisation’ (UNIFA), shipments of mineral and organo-mineral fertilisers reached a total of only 8.7 million tonnes during the 2018-2019 campaign, down by 4% compared to the previous campaign. The sales of basic mineral fertilisers suffered an even greater downturn to 2.3 million tonnes or -6%. Altogether, total shipments showed a downward trend of 4% compared to the average of the last three campaigns. With the exception of potassium, which remained stable, UNIFA regretted declines in nutritive elements across the board. Phosphorus and sulphur were the elements that suffered from the biggest declines of respectively 10 and 13% compared to the average for the last three campaigns. Magnesium did a little better at -5%. Concerning nitrogen, UNIFA noted a decline of 4% that it attributed to the 30% fall in the surface area devoted to rapeseed last year and a relatively dry 2018-2019 winter which left high residual levels of nitrogen in the soil which the crops were able to benefit from. Apart from this cyclical effect, according to UNIFA the figures point to a certain underlying vulnerability of the national industry penalised by the accumulation of restrictive regulatory measures peculiar to France in relation to its competitors in Europe and elsewhere.

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