You are here
Who trades in Belarusian fertilizers via UK?
Fertilizer trade is a profitable business / agronews
Fertilizers are one of the gold mines of the Belarusian economy. The export of potash and nitrogen fertilizers brings the much-needed currency to the country.
AGROFERTRANS LTD was registered in Great Britain in 2002. AGFT HANDEL S.A., registered in Mauritius, a well-known offshore, has a stake in the company.
In 2019 AGROFERTRANS LTD had a turnover of more than 86 million pounds, with net profit of more than 5 million pounds. Part of this profit was "made" on the sale of Belarusian fertilizers.
Administrative office and the offshore
AGFT Industrial is registered in Mauritius at the same address as AGFT HANDEL S.A.. In addition to a common residence and part of the name, clearly referring to "AGROFERTRANS", they have common business interests: trade in fertilizers.
AGFT Industrial has its own British "subsidiary". It is FERTILIFE INDUSTRY LIMITED. And its financial indicators are not bad either: a turnover of 42 million pounds, a net profit of almost 6.5 million.
FERTILIFE INDUSTRY LIMITED trades not only in potash fertilizers. The main supplier of this "British" (in fact, controlled from an offshore in Mauritius) company is Belagrofert LLC, a Belarusian-British company, resident of FEZ Grodnoinvest. "Belagrofert is engaged in the production of nitrogen fertilizers -- granulated ammonium sulfate.
As Euroradio found out, Belagrofert has two founders. One is the above mentioned FERTILIFE INDUSTRY LIMITED. The other is the Republican Production and Trade Unitary Enterprise Belarustorg of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Belarus.
Now let's see the connection: the UDP has a joint business in Belarus with an allegedly British company, established by an offshore firm from Mauritius. It is located in the same building as another offshore firm, which controls another British company that, together with BPC, sells fertilizers in Ukraine.
What is Belagrofert LLC
There's not much information about Belagrofert. At the start of its existence, in 2016-2017, it was indicated that the company would ship Grodno Azot products, among others. It also stated that AGROFERTRANS was among its investors. The cost of the project (including purchase of equipment) was estimated at more than $300 million.
Another interesting fact: the website of FEZ "Hrodna" says that the company produces 120 thousand tons of ammonium sulfate per year. However, the report for 2019 shows twice as much fertilizer from the British company: 240 thousand tons per year. There is hardly a mistake here: the Belarusian-British company, to all appearances, is also actively reselling Grodno Azot products.
The European Union has recently imposed sectoral sanctions against Belarus. Among them, the restrictions on the supply of potash fertilizers. Of course, there are a lot of "buts" and exceptions in the resolution on sanctions, so they will not affect all products at once.
However, even with a great desire, the European bureaucrats could hardly send Belarusian potassium chloride to a complete ban. Just look at all those tricky chains with legal entities in different jurisdictions and offshore zones! And what if life forces them to add more proxy firms?