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French Nitrogen Sales Through November Climb 5%, Unifa Reports

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- French nitrogen-fertilizer shipments rose 5 percent in July through November from a year earlier, industry association Unifa said.

Sales of nitrogen, used by farmers to boost plant yields, climbed to 907,000 metric tons in the first five months of the 2012-13 crop year, Paris-based Unifa wrote in an e-mailed statement today, without providing a year-earlier figure.

France is the largest crop grower in the European Union, and the biggest user of crop nutrients, according to the International Fertilizer Industry Association.

“Nitrogen nonetheless remains below the average of the past three campaigns,” Unifa wrote. “The excess rain at the end of 2012 caused difficulties for the harvest of the last areas of corn and sugar beets in the east and north, and some wheat planting wasn’t able to get done.”

Potassium-fertilizer shipments in France rose 2 percent to 294,000 tons from May through November, Unifa said. Phosphorus deliveries advanced 9 percent to 244,000 tons, the industry group reported.

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

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