Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Said to Encourage Buying of Russian Fertilizer

The U.S. government is quietly encouraging agricultural and shipping companies to buy and carry more Russian fertilizer, according to a Monday report from Bloomberg News. This according to people familiar with the efforts, as fears over sanctions have led to a sharp drop in supplies.

The effort is part of complex and difficult negotiations underway involving the United Nations to boost deliveries of fertilizer, grain and other farm products from Russia and Ukraine that have been disrupted by President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his southern neighbor.

Washington sent a representative to UN-led talks in Moscow earlier this month on the supply issues, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that aren’t public.

The European Union and the U.S. have built exemptions into their restrictions on doing business with Russia to allow fertilizer trade. But many shippers, banks and insurers have been staying away out of fear they could inadvertently fall afoul of the rules.

Russia wants the U.S. to provide assurances to buyers and shippers of its fertilizer and grain that they are not subject to sanctions, suggesting it is a condition of any steps to unblock shipments of Ukrainian farm products.