Fertilizers, Markets, Mena, News, Phosphate, South America

Fertilizers Update: Veolia in Jordan, Mosaic Fertilizantes in Brazil & Nitrogen from Asteroids

In Jordan, Veolia Water Technologies will provide a processing plant integrating HPD® crystallisation systems designed to extract high-quality potash fertilizer from the brines of the Dead Sea. Population growth, rising incomes and the need for increased fresh food production are expanding the frontiers to grow crops into increasingly arid areas around the world. This force is driving the demand for water-soluble fertilizer products for use in horticulture with precision irrigation, a modern technique also known as fertigation which delivers water and nutrients in exact quantities conserving resources and maximising yields. To meet the increased demand of these specialty products, Veolia, as a major producer of potash in the Middle East, is slated to raise production to almost 1.5 million tpy of potash extracted from carnallite, a mixture of magnesium chloride and potassium chloride pumped from the Dead Sea and evaporated in solar ponds before undertaking a refining process.
In Brazil, Mosaic Fertilizantes, a unit of Mosaic Co., sees Brazil’s fertilizer demand growing by up to 3% this year as local farmers rush to buy soil nutrients in a key growth market where the firm is already a top producer.“Mosaic is already receiving orders for fertilizer deliveries in the first quarter 2021,” Floris Bielders,commercial VP at the Brazil unit, said on Monday. “This normally never happens a year out. Farmers will only do it if they have good margins.”Due in part to the global asset selloff caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the dollar has risen about 17% against the local currency this year, meaning farmers get more reais per grain sold on export markets.The Tampa, Florida-based company’s optimism comes after a challenging 2019, when wet weather in the US affected global demand for phosphates products, leading to high inventories and price pressure.On the other hand, trade tensions between the US and China benefited Brazilian grain growers, supporting stronger demand for Mosaic products.Mosaic Fertilizantes was taken over from Brazilian miner Vale for US$2.5 billion in a deal concluded in 2018.
Ammonium salts may dominate the reservoir of nitrogen in comets, a recent research article published in Science, a journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has concluded. Their presence in cometary dust may explain increases of gas-phase NH3 and HCN observed in some comets when close to the Sun, which could be caused by the thermal dissociation of ammonium salts. Several asteroids in the Main Belt, Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, and its small moon Himalia have similar spectra to that of comet 67P, with a broad spectral absorption feature at 3.1 to 3.2 μm, which we suggest could also be due to ammonium salts. The dwarf planet Ceres has ammoniated phyllosilicates on its surface, which may have formed from ammonium ions inherited from outer Solar System objects with compositions similar to that of comet 67P. The presence of these salts on comet 67P, and possibly on other primitive Solar System bodies, suggests a compositional link between asteroids, comets, and the proto-solar nebula.

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