2012 seen as record year for potash fertiliser consumption

27th June 2012 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – TSX-listed PotashCorp said on Tuesday that 2012 would mark a record year for global potash fertiliser consumption, driven by growth in China, Brazil and South East Asia markets.

The company noted in a presentation that the continuous improvement required in crop productivity and need for nutrients to achieve higher crop yields, to meet tight supplies and rising demand, were expected to support strong global demand for fertiliser during the year.

The rising global population and the need to produce more food an acre were also driving demand for potash crop nutrients.

Fertiliser dealers were now securing the product to meet strong demand at the farm level.

World potash fertiliser consumption had seen significant growth, PotashCorp said, pointing to developing markets in Asia and Latin America achieving the highest growth from 2001 to 2011, reaching 6% and 5% a year respectively.

Global potash consumption recorded a yearly growth of about 3%, surpassing growth rates for the other primary nutrients, namely nitrogen and phosphate.

Further, potash shipments, which rebounded during the second quarter, were expected to be more robust as the year progressed. Shipments were expected to reach between 53-million and 56-million tons of potash for the year, with China and Latin America accounting for over 10-million tons each in 2012.

Potash shipments experienced a difficult year after the economic downturn and India’s reduced demand. This was further impacted by the failure of operating mines worldwide to meet underlying demand during 2011, on the back of geological, logistical and operational issues, highlighting the need for new capacity.

PotashCorp, which currently accounted for 20% of the world’s potash capacity, was undertaking a $7.5-billion expansion programme to improve operational capability to 17.1-million tons by 2015.