Bad times for the boss of the Moroccan phosphate fertilizer giant OCP. The group headed by Mostafa Terrab is prohibited from continuing its exports to the North American market. This is the start of an unprecedented battle for the strategic North American market.
The United States, the country where Mostafa Terrab was trained, are not giving him a freebie. Since July 2020, the Moroccan group, one of the 5 major world producers with American Mosaic, the Russian PhosAgro and the two Chinese GPCG & YTH, has stopped its exports to the North American market. A decision taken in response to unfair competition proceedings brought before the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission by local rival Mosaic. The company accuses OCP of being subsidized and asks for the application of compensatory customs duties on Moroccan products.
This situation, a very first in the 100-year-old history of OCP, and an exceptional event in the phosphate industry, proves the stiffness of competition in the fertilizer market. An economic clash, strewn with political considerations, which will end in March 2021.
Things started badly for OCP (4.9 billion euros in turnover in 2019), taken by surprise by the procedure, like most of the industry. Thus, the opening of the case at the end of June 2020, made public by Mosaic and reported in the media, put the Moroccan group and the Russians PhosAgro and EuroChem on the defensive.