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Potash Fertilizer Market and Price Analysis

As one of the three main macronutrients, the potash industry supplies over 45 million tonnes of nutrient (K2O) to the global farming community, at a value exceeding $17 billion annually. Potassium is vital for all plants as it plays a key role in water uptake and the synthesis of plant material, improving plant health.

Key facts about the potash fertilizer market
  • Production of MOP, the most widely traded potassium fertilizer, exceeds 65 million tonnes annually, of which over 51 million tonnes are traded between countries.
  • The supply of MOP is highly concentrated, with the top seven corporate suppliers producing 84% of global supply. Geographically, Belarus, Canada and Russia are the largest producers, followed by China, Germany, Israel and Jordan.
  • Most countries of the world buy some potash. The largest markets are China, Brazil, India and the United States. The top 15 national fertilizer markets consume 78% of global potash, whilst some 133 countries consume only 5% of global potash.
  • China and India are two key import contract price markets, with Brazil, the United States, and Southeast Asia being the most important spot markets.
  • Until 2021 increased capacity and an expansion of the supplier base has heightened price competition and ensured a buyers’ market for MOP. High demand and uncertainty over supply in 2021 has reversed all previous price reductions, with market prices more than doubling.
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Key themes affecting the potash fertilizer market

High levels of investment by the major producers, including new entrants to the market such as EuroChem, has ensured that there has been a supply surfeit of MOP. Producers initially reacted by curtailing supply, but with the focus on food security following the start of the Covid pandemic, producers have revived mothballed capacity.

The concentration of supply in Belarus, Canada and Russia has added to the uncertainty in 2020 and 2021. The disputed presidential election in Belarus in August 2020 has caused the EU, USA, Canada and the UK to impose sanctions on Belarus, which include potash. Belarus accounts for 20% of global trade. Compounding this uncertainty is the tension between Russia and Europe over the Ukraine, which may lead to sanctions on Russia – which also accounts for around 20% of global trade.

In Q1 2022 global potash markets are more uncertain than at any point over the last 50 years. Climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions will be a recurring theme for the next 20 years, and plans laid to achieve those goals also need to navigate around geopolitical uncertainties. New potassic fertilizers such as polyhalite are being introduced. Comprehensive data and analysis on global potash markets has never been more necessary to help buyers and sellers, farmers and financiers navigate through these complex times.

Key Potash indicators
  20172018201920202021
MOP fob Vancouver spot standard$/t219260277212405
MOP fob Baltic spot standard$/t230255268201394
SOP W European spot/contract standard$/t497514498484581
Belarus MOP exportsmln t10.711.010.311.511.5
Global MOP trademln t52.553.950.153.857.0

Solutions

At IHS Markit we offer market-leading potash fertilizer information solutions via our globally recognised Fertecon service. Specialists in offering comprehensive data and analysis across the global fertilizer market, with current, short-term and long-term solutions to support all operational needs in your organisation.

Current price reports
Bi-Weekly Report

Keep abreast of the potash market and spot new opportunities with our bi-weekly market report. Key benefits include reliable price discovery, news on key developments, and trade statistics and news alerts.

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Long-term market outlooks
Quarterly Market Reports

Steer your business in the right strategic direction with this in-depth quarterly report on the potash market, forecasting out 10 years. Key benefits include comprehensive market analysis, price, supply demand and trade forecasts, and coverage of hot topics.

Bespoke solutions
API and Data Feeds

Pricing, supply-demand and forecasts on the potash market delivered directly to your organisation to support centralised models and trading systems used by team members across your business.

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One-time Data Exports

Over three decades of historical potash pricing, production and trade data across all core nutrients available to purchase to support your organisation with strategic analysis and economic modelling.

Consulting

Consulting services spanning all your needs in the fertilizer markets, from long-term forecasting beyond what is available in our subscription services to market studies for financial investments reviewing everything from market forecasts to competitor intelligence.

Fertilizers - Potash Experts

Kwadjo Ahodo

The analysis focuses on medium-to-long term forecasting of potash supply and demand, production costs and prices, based on which outlooks on the potash market are produced. Dr. Kwadjo joined Agribusiness in November 2019 as Potash Analyst. Prior to joining Agribusiness, Dr. Kwadjo worked at Sirius Minerals (now acquired by AngloAmerican) as Agricultural Marketing & Farm Economics Analyst, responsible for economic and comparative analyses of fertilizer plans, the results of which were published in marketing strategy documents.Dr. Kwadjo developed a series of models for the market analysis team, which included fertilizer pricing and linear programming based NPK blending models. Before Sirius, he worked at the Institute of Zoology as Post-doctoral Researcher, building a computer-based model for evaluating the economic outcomes of sustainable farm management strategies.Dr. Kwadjo has a background in agricultural/environmental economics, with BSc in Agriculture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Ghana, MSc in Economics of Natural Resources & Environmental Management from Cranfield University, and PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Sheffield.

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Allan Pickett

Allan had roles in sales, marketing analysis and consulting. He started his career with Monsanto in 1984 and has worked at CRU International Ltd, leading their fertilizer division between 2003 and 2010. Between 2010 and 2015 he ran his own consulting business assisting expoloration and development companies assess new phosphate and potash resources.Since joining Fertecon in 2015 he was initially responsible for the long-term analysis team assessing the phosphates, sulphur and potash markets, as well as consulting work including market feasibility studies and arbitration expert witness assignments.

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