September 13, 2012
India's 2012 potash imports at about four million tonnes
Due to cut in subsidy on phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilisers by the government, Uralkali has pegged India's potash imports at 3.5-4 million tonnes in 2012.
India imports 100% of its domestic requirement of muriate of potash (MoP), a key fertiliser.
"We expect that the decreased state subsidies for potash imports will reduce this year's potash imports down to 3.5-4 million tonnes as well as limit the room for a possible price increase," Russia-based Uralkali said in a statement. It, however, did not state its estimates of India's 2011 imports.
The government has slashed subsidy on MoP to INR14,440 (US$261) per tonne for the 2012-13 fiscal, from INR16,054 (US$290) per tonne in the 2011-12 fiscal.
However, the company expects the current low potash application and high crop prices to boost consumption of the soil nutrient by India in 2013 and help improve the market sentiment.
On the sale of potash in India, the company said that high retail prices of the crop nutrient and below average monsoon affected sales.
"In India, high potash retail prices and below-average monsoon rains caused weak consumption despite good loading volumes during second and third quarters," it said.
The company released its half yearly results, with net profits up by 6% to US$842 million in the January-June period of 2012, from US$794 million on-year.
The revenues of the company rose by 13% to US$2.23 billion from US$1.97 billion in the reviewed period, it added.
During the first six months of the current calendar year, Uralkali produced 4.8 million tonnes of potash as against 5.2 million tonnes in the same period of 2011.
The global potash supplier, whose assets include five mines and seven ore treatment mills, added that shipments to India by Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), Uralkali's trader, under old contracts continued through August this year.