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Belarus Will Not Tax Potash Exports Next Year

Belarus has decided that it would not tax potash exports in 2015. The Minsk government said that it would not re-introduce an export duty on potash that was cancelled only last year. The country of almost 10 million first lowered tariffs to zero in September last year after the trading alliance with the Russian Uralkali had been broken up. This lucrative venture between the two cartels – Belarusian Potash Company and Canpotex – controlled about two fifths of the entire global potash market worth about $20 billion. Belarusian Potash Company was back then a joint venture between Belaruskali and Uralkali.

While potash prices have been inching up throughout this year, they are still remaining below July 2013 levels, right before the Russian producer publicized a plan to dismember a cartel-like marketing group and focus on the maximization of its output. However, Uralkali later abandoned those plans whereupon potash manufacturers have struggled to push through higher prices. Observers now forecast a quick recovery as a result of the last month’s accident at the Solikamsk 2 mine, which is believed to exert a direct effect on global supply.

Belarus is home to one of the largest known potash deposits in the world. The country is in fact the world’s third biggest potash producer preceded by Canada and Russia. Belarus annually produces about 5.5 million tonnes of potash (2011) and its known deposits are estimated at 750 million tonnes. In comparison, Canada’s known resources are estimated to be about 4.400 million tonnes while the country produces about 11.2 million tonnes of potash annually. Russia has deposits of about 3.300 million tonnes of potash and produces about 7.4 million tonnes annually (2011).

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