Food prices could increase as Hurricane Ian approaches Florida

Food prices could increase as Hurricane Ian approaches Florida

Food prices could go up as Hurricane Ian approaches Florida and threatens to disrupt the fertilizer supply.

Hurricane Ian, which became a Category 3 storm early Tuesday, is expected to make landfall on Florida's Gulf Coast sometime mid-week, according to a public advisory from the National Hurricane Center. It had maximum sustained winds of around 120 mph late Tuesday afternoon.

As of Tuesday, several counties in Florida, including Tampa, have issued mandatory evacuation orders for certain areas.

Mosaic Co., which mines phosphate and potash and uses them to make fertilizers, is headquartered in Tampa. In a fact sheet, the company said that North American phosphate operations make up about 50 percent of North American farmers' supply of granular phosphate fertilizer, and 12 percent of global supply in a given year.

The company has several phosphate mining and manufacturing sites in the west-central part of Florida, according to its website. Mosaic didn't speculate on possible impacts to operations at the time of publication, but did give the following statements to FOX Business.

Mosaic's North America Incident Command Team coordinating operations with operating sites last week in advance of Hurricane Ian, the company said in a statement. Weather updates are kept up with us as well as site preparations at our phosphate and production facilities in Florida and Louisiana. The statement said that employees at Mosaic's Tampa headquarters and other Florida locations are working remotely so they can focus on their own personal preparation. The company said it is communicating with customers to make sure they are aware of any impact to services. Mosaic said in a statement to FOX Business that they have taken the appropriate steps to protect their people, mines, plants, port facilities and administrative offices in anticipation of the significant impact of Hurricane Ian.

Food prices, already spiked by inflation, could go up as farmers use them to help grow crops, as a result of hurricane-related disruptions to the fertilizer supply. Food prices are rising due to the extreme weather conditions for farmers, supply chain issues and geopolitical tensions, according to FOX Business previously reported.

The consumer price index rose 0.8% from July and 11.4% from a year ago, according to the Labor Department.

Bloomberg was the first to report on Mosaic's Florida footprint.