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Politics 14/07/2017 11h25

Balance Agri-Nutrients : «OCP will be the loser» regarding the phosphate cargo

Chery Blossom vessel./Ph. DR

Following the ruling of the South African court regarding the phosphate cargo shipped from Morocco to New Zealand, OCP, the leading state-owned company, has accused the court of «political piracy» for detaining the 54,000 ton shipment for more than 73 days, Stuff.co reports.

Speaking to the same source, Mark Wynne, chief executive of Balance Agri-Nutrients, the fertilizer company that was awaiting the phosphate shipment sent by OCP, said that Morocco’s decision was «pragmatic» as the case could have taken months in the court.

«The cargo is destined for us but we don’t own it so OCP will be the loser in this situation. The financial implication for us is around the vessel because we have to pay for it, but because we are covered by insurance the impact is zero», Wynne explained.

However, the company based in New Zealand will continue purchasing phosphate from Morocco. «Legally and ethically we are comfortable with buying it, and the Moroccans will continue to mine it», Wynne told the same source.

For the record, the phosphate cargo destined to New Zealand was detained at Port Elizabeth by a civil maritime court on the 1st of May. The high court in Port Elizabeth, South Africa has pronounced on the 15th of June its verdict regarding the Moroccan phosphate cargo. The Polisario Front has won the first round of the court case claiming that «the detention of NM Cherry Blossom on 1 May 2017 was correct».

On Thursday 8th of June, a Panama court has rejected a claim issued by the Polisario Front to block a Danish vessel that was carrying OCP phosphate rocks stating that «there was no evidence the cargo belonged to the group».

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