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China’s Blue-Sky Plan for Olympics Is Stifling Fertilizer Output

China’s urea plants are getting caught up in Beijing’s drive to ensure blue skies for the Winter Olympics, which includes ordering factory shutdowns to curb air pollution.

Three plants in northern Shanxi province were asked to begin operating at 50% capacity due to pollution, driving up domestic prices for the nitrogen fertilizer, said Scotiabank analyst Ben Isaacson. Futures in Zhengzhou rose almost 5% on Friday to the highest since October, but have pared gains this week.