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French Nitrogen-Fertilizer Delivery Drops 16%, Unifa Says

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March 5 (Bloomberg) -- French nitrogen-fertilizer shipments slumped 16 percent from July through December to the lowest in at least four years, and deliveries of phosphate and potassium also fell, national fertilizer-industry association Unifa said.

Nitrogen sales in France, the European Union’s largest crop grower, fell to 1.01 million metric tons in the first six months of the year that began July 1 from 1.2 million tons a year earlier, Paris-based Unifa said today in an e-mailed statement.

France is the biggest user of crop nutrients in the 27-nation EU, according to the International Fertilizer Industry Association. French grain farmers typically buy fertilizer for next year’s crop after most harvesting is done in September.

Potassium-fertilizer shipments in France fell 10 percent to 315,000 tons in May through December, while phosphate deliveries declined 24 percent to 248,000 tons, Unifa said.

The association tracks nitrogen sales on the basis of a year that starts July 1, while the marketing year for potassium and phosphorus begins May 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.