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China to impose special duties on fertilizer exports
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China will impose a special 100 percent duty on exports of fertilizer and raw materials between April 20 and September 30, the Ministry of Finance said Thursday.

Exports of fertilizer will now carry a duty of 100 percent to 135 percent, the ministry said.

This is the second time this year that China has raised the duty on fertilizer exports. It is aimed at easing fears of a fertilizer supply shortage and keeping prices stable during soaring demand over the spring ploughing season.

Of the seven types of exported chemical fertilizers, three were tariff-free before the latest increase. On Feb 15, the government imposed export duties on four kinds of fertilizers ranging from 20 to 35 percent.

The widening gap between domestic and international fertilizer prices spurred sharp rises in exports this year, evidenced by 250 percent increase in carbamide exports and 280 percent rise in exports of monosodium phosphate, a compound fertilizer, in the first two months, the ministry said.

Exports of the two types of fertilizers stood at 1.71 million and 259,000 tons respectively in the first two months.

Runaway exports have caused domestic supply strain and price rises in parts of the country as fertilizer demand began to soar in March when the spring ploughing began, according to the ministry.

The tariff increase would help restrain rising prices and guarantee an abundant grain harvest for the year.

The ministry noted the runaway expansion of nitrogenous and phosphor-based fertilizers should be curbed considering their adverse impacts on environment.

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2008)

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