The Trade Minister has told the ABC Australia will soon receive a crucial supply of diesel exhaust fluid from Indonesia, as the federal government approaches Middle Eastern nations to avoid a transport shutdown.
While the trucking industry is confident it has enough to last through Christmas, if more urea cannot be sourced by early February there is a major risk that the supply chain will be adversely affected and consumer prices impacted.
Following the announcement of a task force to help avoid a supply crisis, Trade Minister Dan Tehan has told the ABC there are now around seven weeks of supply left.
“I’ve spoken to my Indonesian counterpart and there is some supply in Indonesia that we should be able to access in the coming weeks,” he says.
“There have been representations made to Saudi Arabia, to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and also Japan.”
DEF, commonly known by its trade name AdBlue, is used to modify late model diesel engine operations to take Nitric Oxide out of their emissions. Without AdBlue, these engines can’t operate. Made mostly from urea, Australia’s supplies have taken a hit because of China’s export ban.
The government is continuing to push the message to truckies to not stockpile the ingredient.
“There is clear supply there that we can bring to Australia and given we have seven weeks already in stock, we are very confident we will be able to get the urea that we need into the country,” he says.
“What we don’t want to see is people or companies storing [AdBlue] excessively because we want to make sure the supply chain can continue to operate as best as they normally can.”
NatRoad Chief Executive Officer Warren Clark says although road transport would be hit first and hardest when supplies of DEF dry up, the problem is bigger than any one sector.
“But this is first and foremost an issue of supply. Australia is a big importer of DEF, with 80 percent of the Asia-Pacific needs coming from China which has stopped all exports to stabilise its local market,” he says.
“Diesel Exhaust Fuel is distributed both at retail bowsers and in bulk, with larger transport companies maintaining their own reserves.”