17 Jul 2012

Pirates add to cost of fertiliser

6:32 am on 17 July 2012

New Zealand farmers are paying a pirate fee for imported urea fertiliser to ensure it arrives here safely.

Ravensdown Fertiliser imports about 340,000 tonnes of the nitrogen fertiliser per year from Saudi Arabia.

Supply general manager Shane Harold says that along with everyone else shipping goods from the Middle East, it is having to pay for security measures to protect ships from pirates who infest the Persian Gulf.

He says with a 30,000 tonne ship, extra security will add around 50 cents per tonne to the cost.

Mr Harold says the cost of urea has come down recently to below $800 per tonne, as global demand eases.