TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Was India bluffing in its assertions this week that it was taking a “holiday” from potash imports because of high prices, saying it has enough inventories anyway?
Profercy Phosphates & NPKs editor Tom Jago certainly thinks so.
“In the industry we believe that, we think it’s a bluff,” he told Mining Weekly Online on Wednesday.
While Jago said that he specialises in phosphates, he adds “I see what’s going on in the next-door house”.
Potash and phosphates are crop fertilisers, and India is one of the biggest importers of both.
On Monday, the country’s Economic Times quoted the Fertiliser Association of India as saying that “unreasonable, exorbitant international price of potash” by the cartelisation of suppliers had made the country decide to stop buying the crop nutrient for a while.
The report said that the country had enough inventories to keep it going, and other measures such as returning crop residues to the soil would also help.
The problem, said Jago, is that India keeps its potash inventory cards pretty close to its chest.
“The inventory figure is never produced,” he said.
“They project this notion that they don’t need the product, but at the same time they have a very strong government policy toward food-growing self sufficiency.”
Jago said he’d seen a similar situation play out in the phosphates business “many times”.