America's largest farmer cooperative sounded the alarm Wednesday about possible disruptions of fertilizer supplies from Russia due to Western sanctions on Moscow.
CHS Inc., the largest agricultural cooperative in the US, said in an SEC filing that it's concerned about obtaining Russian fertilizer because of sanctions making it "more expensive and difficult to do business with Russia."
CHS warned that sanctions could "cause delays with respect to, or prevent, shipments of fertilizer to us, cause inflationary pressures on and impact our ability to purchase fertilizer, disrupt the execution of banking transactions with certain Russian financial institutions and result in volatility in foreign exchange rates and interest rates, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations."
The cooperative said it holds no operations in Russia. However, it has $30 million in grain inventories sitting in silos in Ukraine and will have to take an "impairment charge" because of its inability to access those stockpiles.
CHS warns there's a risk the conflict in Ukraine "could lead to a much larger conflict and/or additional sanctions imposed by the United States government and other governments that restrict business with specific persons, organizations or countries or with respect to certain products or services." And said if such an event did occur, it would wreck more global supply chains and "could materially adversely affect our business operations and financial performance."
For some context, Russia is one of the world's largest fertilizer exports. Countries already afflicted by food insecurity, such as emerging market economies, will experience some of the first fertilizer and food shortages first. By the way, violent inflation protests are already beginning in Peru.
The farming industry is being clubbed like a baby seal by the Ukrainian conflict and Western sanctions against Moscow. It's the sanctions causing fertilizer prices to soar, diesel prices to erupt, and the cost of everything to inflate. Also, international shipping companies are steering clear of trade with Russia -- making it even hard to acquire fertilizer products. The Ukrainian conflict and resulting sanctions make no food supply chain safe.