February 19, 2021


Potash fertiliser sales to hit record highs thanks to rising crop prices


Worldwide potash fertiliser sales are set to reach record levels this year thanks to rising corn and soybean prices, but producers in North America are tightening supplies, Reuters reported.


United States-based Mosaic Co and Canada's Nutrien Ltd have benefitted from rising crop prices that have reached multi-year highs, fuelled by increased demand from China.


Nutrien projects US corn plantings to be the biggest in five years, of 91 million to 93 million acres (36.8-37.6 million hectares), plus bigger US soybean plantings.


Nutrien, the biggest potash producer by capacity in the world, said demand for potash is set to hit a record high 68 million to 70 million tonnes.


Farmers have a bigger incentive to apply fertiliser and maximise yields when crop prices increase.


However, Joc O' Rourke, chief executive officer of Mosaic, said there are no plants to restart its Colonsay, Saskatchewan mine.


Mosaic's Saskatchewan K3 mine is set to double its output in 2021 following a multi-year expansion project.


Nutrein said it may restore 6 million tonnes of yearly idle capacity if prices remain high, but guided to flat potash sales volumes this year.


EuroChem, based in Switzerland, said it is boosting production but it has run into delays.


Increase demand for potash comes as the BHP Group decides to make an investment on completing its Jansen, Saskatchewan mine.


Even though potash prices are rising in the United States and Brazil, Belarus-based state producer Belaruskali recently completed supply contracts with China and India at prices below market value, according to Nutrien.


Both Mosaic and Nutrien reported higher than estimated fourth-quarter profits.


- Reuters

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