Vietnam fertilizer makers ordered to stop exporting

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered a halt to fertilizer exports until December 31 to ensure enough supply for the upcoming winter-spring rice crop.

NPK, superphosphate, and organic fertilizers are excluded from the ban as there is no scarcity for these at present.

Meanwhile, demand for urea is exceeding supply, the Thoi bao kinh te Saigon Online said Tuesday. It said some speculators have bought and stored the urea produced by PetroVietnam Fertilizer & Chemical Co., the country's biggest fertilizer producer, as its price is VND1,200 (6 cents) per kilogram cheaper than that made by other firms or imported.

The country's fertilizer reserves are running low while demand for the upcoming crop is high, the newspaper said.

Estimates by the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that Vietnam has churned out more than six million tons of fertilizer this year, meeting around 67 percent of the demand.

Through October this year, the country imported US$796 million worth of fertilizer, down 30.6 percent from the same period last year.

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