Australia SCRAMBLES to avoid a Christmas supply chain crisis that could strip shops bare - but the rest of the world is HOARDING fuel ingredient that makes trucks start

South Korea has turned to Indonesia for urea supplies needed for diesel enginesChina supplies 80 per cent of Asia-Pacific's urea but has stopped its exports Australia's only supplier of AdBlue will stop making it in Brisbane from late 2022But Incitec Pivot has now vowed to boost domestic production as crisis worsens 

Australia is scrambling to fix the supply chain crisis as other countries such as South Korea begin stockpiling an essential chemical needed for diesel truck engines to start.

Senior cabinet ministers have urged Australians to refrain from panicking despite warnings from the National Road Transport Association that supplies of urea could run out by the end of January.

China supplies 80 per cent of the Asia-Pacific market but it has this year stopped exports in a bid to contain the price of fertiliser, a key component of food production.

Fertiliser maker Incitec Pivot is Australia’s only local manufacturer of AdBlue, an environmental additive needed for modern diesel engines to start.

But from next year, it will stop making urea at its Gibson Island plant in Brisbane. Until then, it supplies 10 per cent of the Australian market.

After five days of speculation, Incitec Pivot has revealed to Daily Mail Australia its promise to boost domestic production to help ease the urea supply crisis.

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Australia is scrambling to fix the supply chain crisis as other countries start stockpiling an essential chemical needed for diesel truck engines to start. Senior cabinet ministers have urged Australians to refrain from panicking despite warnings from the National Road Transport Association that supplies of urea could run out by the end of January (pictured is Coles, Hornsby on Sydney's Upper North Shore)

Australia is scrambling to fix the supply chain crisis as other countries start stockpiling an essential chemical needed for diesel truck engines to start. Senior cabinet ministers have urged Australians to refrain from panicking despite warnings from the National Road Transport Association that supplies of urea could run out by the end of January (pictured is Coles, Hornsby on Sydney’s Upper North Shore)

Without AdBlue, late model diesel motors won’t start because engine management systems require it to reduce the levels of pollutant nitric oxide going into the atmosphere.

Half the trucks on Australian roads have a diesel engine.

Popular utes like the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux and bestselling four-wheel drives like the Toyota LandCruiser are also diesel-powered.

Aside from China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the other major producers of diesel-grade urea. 

South Korea is preparing for a crisis, with its industry ministry on Tuesday ordering 120,000 tonnes a year of urea from Indonesia over the next three years.

Seoul’s Industry Minister Moon Sung-wook and Indonesia’s State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir signed a memorandum of understanding on urea supplies, the Yonhap News Agency reported. 

South Korea is preparing for a crisis, with its industry ministry on Tuesday ordering 120,000 tonnes a year of urea from Indonesia over the next three years to get around China blocking exports of the fertiliser needed to start diesel engines (pictured is a truck in Seoul)

South Korea is preparing for a crisis, with its industry ministry on Tuesday ordering 120,000 tonnes a year of urea from Indonesia over the next three years to get around China blocking exports of the fertiliser needed to start diesel engines (pictured is a truck in Seoul)

Indonesia agreed to send 10,000 tonnes of urea from mid-December, the Korean industry ministry said.

‘Indonesia is a nation that can be our stable supplier of urea given its production volume, the level of bilateral economic exchanges and geographical proximity,’ it said said in a statement.

‘The two countries agreed to further boost cooperation on the overall supply chains down the road.’

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who is also the Transport Minister, urged Australians to refrain from panicking.

The government is aware of the concerns around the supply and availability of AdBlue, and is continuing to monitor the situation while working with industry,’ a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We encourage industry operators not to panic and to continue operating as they normally would.’

Mr Joyce’s policy advisers met with the National Road Transport Association on Friday, after board member and trucking boss Allan Thornley warned urea supplies could run out by the end of January. 

Energy Minister Angus Taylor insisted Australia had sufficient supplies.

‘The government is working closely with industry to understand current disruptions in the global market for urea,’ a spokesman said.

‘Many nations other than China manufacture urea, including in the Middle East and Indonesia.

Without AdBlue, late model diesel motors won't start because engine management systems require it to reduce the levels of smog pollutant nitric oxide going into the atmosphere

Without AdBlue, late model diesel motors won’t start because engine management systems require it to reduce the levels of smog pollutant nitric oxide going into the atmosphere

Incitec Pivot's chief executive Jeanne Johns last month announced it would stop making urea in Brisbane from December 2022 and import a range of fertilisers (she is pictured centre with Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk)

Incitec Pivot’s chief executive Jeanne Johns last month announced it would stop making urea in Brisbane from December 2022 and import a range of fertilisers (she is pictured centre with Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk)

‘We currently have sufficient volume in Australia to meet our needs, and are working with industry and across government to ensure we continue to have robust, resilient supply chains of essential goods.’

Incitec Pivot’s chief executive Jeanne Johns last month announced it would stop making urea in Brisbane from December 2022 and import a range of fertilisers after failing to secure a gas supply deal.

A spokeswoman said while Incitec Pivot Limited supplied only 10 per cent of the Australian AdBlue market, it would investigate boosting domestic production before the plant closed next year.

‘We are fully committed to supplying our domestic customers’ requirements,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘While our ability to increase production is limited due to technical constraints, we are currently investigating increasing our AdBlue solution capacity, and will do all we can to increase supply over the next few months.’

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who is also the Transport Minister, urged Australians to refrain from panicking (he is pictured left with PM Scott Morrison)

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who is also the Transport Minister, urged Australians to refrain from panicking (he is pictured left with PM Scott Morrison)

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