NFU responds to CF Fertilisers closing Billingham ammonia plant

25 July 2023

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NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw

NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw has responded to the news that CF Fertilisers is to permanently close its Billingham ammonia plant.

Mr Bradshaw said: “This decision is a concerning one and exposes our fertiliser market further to global volatility.  Availability of fertiliser is a crucial element of domestic food security and relying on importing ammonia from global markets exposes British fertiliser production to possible long-term risks.

“Fertiliser is a vital tool that helps British farmers and growers produce food for the nation. It’s important that the Government now look closely at how this shift to a reliance of imported ammonia could impact our domestic food production and highlights the need to maintain access to all nitrogen fertiliser products including urea.”


Notes to editor:

  • CF Fertilisers announced on 25th July 2023 that it was permanently closing the Billingham ammonia plant.
  • This decision comes after 10 months of the plant not being in operation.
  • More information about the fertiliser market:
    • Ammonia is a key raw material in the production of nitrogen fertiliser and its production is energy intensive.
    • In 2021, British farmers used just over 3.5 million tonnes of fertiliser products. Of this, 1.4 million tonnes was ammonium nitrate, 213,000 tonnes was urea and 492,000 tonnes was UAN (urea ammonium nitrate).
    • In 2020, S&P Global estimates that world demand for primary fertilisers was almost 500 million tonnes with trade at 224 million tonnes.
    • Global trade is vital for functioning fertilisers and raw material markets. It is vulnerable to supply chain disruption, protectionism and geopolitical tensions.