Norway’s Yara International said that Qatar fertilizer exports from Qatari producer Qafco would be unaffected by a regional diplomatic row that saw major Gulf economies led by the Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic relations with the tiny Gulf state. The political crisis has affected numerous areas including air travel and other commodity shipments but leaves potash industry untouched. The diplomatic row also disrupted trade and food and underlined fears of a possible shock to the world’s natural gas market, where it is a major actor. The Norwegian company has a 25-percent stake in Qafco. “We have no logistics problems. Production from that facility is shipped from a dedicated port (in Qatar),” said Yara’s spokesman.
In the recent Gulf diplomatic row, Qatar has been isolated by its neighbors – some of the Arab world’s most powerful countries – that have accused the Gulf state of supporting terrorism. Doha has long been practicing a foreign policy of supporting regional Islamist groups and of balancing different priorities with respect to its neighbors. A major issue that sparked the action of the Arab countries was, however, Qatar’s relation to Shia-led Iran. Earlier this month, the emir had been quoted as criticizing US hostility towards Tehran and calling Iran a “big power in the stabilization of the region”.
Yara is a chemical company with the largest business area in the production of nitrogen fertilizer, though it also does business in the production of nitrates, urea, nitrogen-based chemicals and ammonia. The company was established in 1905 in Oslo and was the world’s first producer of mineral nitrogen crop nutrients. Yara has around 13,000 employees, production sites on all continents, operations in more than 50 countries and sales to about 150 countries.