FMC and other feed producers fined for price fixing

The European Commission has fined 12 producers of animal feed phosphates €175m for operating a cartel across Europe, inflating feed prices for livestock producers.

Phosphates are widely used in feed, including for cattle, pigs and poultry. The Commission said the cartel covered "most of the EU" in sharing markets and fixing prices. And although it does not include British companies, members' products have been sold across Europe.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia said he was "surprised that the main producers of a vital compound for animal feed abused a substantial part of the European animal feed market for nearly 35 years”.

Companies involved included Finland’s Yara Phosphates; Yara Suomi; and Kemira, which escaped fines by co-operating with Commission investigators.

Others included the US, Spanish and Dutch wings of FMC; Tessenderlo Chemie from Belgium; Spain’s Ercros and Ercros Industrial; Comércio e Indústria Química and José de Mello of Portugal and French firms Timab Industries and Compagnie Financière et de Participation Roullier.