Europe, Markets, News, Phosphate, Purified Acids

Five Most Key Phosphate and Potash Market Developments of 2019

What were the top phosphate and potash news stories of 2019? While 2019 has not been a steady year for potash or phosphate, production of the agricultural resources is expected to grow in 2020. These are the five most popular phosphate and potash news stories of 2019 – as the list below shows, news about project advancements and market conditions took the spotlight. First, the Canadian fertilizer sector was up in arms after the Saskatchewan government made no public consultations before deciding to scrap C$117 million in potash tax credits. The tax credit system, which featured a potash production credit, had been in place since 1990 and was established to help offset some of the costs producers were bearing while the market was in a downturn.
Second, back in March of this year, UK-based potash developer Sirius Minerals made news when it took steps to advance development at its world-class potash mine in the UK after finally securing a backer for the multibillion dollar project. The conditional proposal from an unnamed major global financial institution was for US$3 billion; the funds were to be used to further develop the company’s flagship project: the Woodsmith mine, located beneath a national park in North Yorkshire, UK. At the time of the announcement, shares of Sirius rose up by as much as 11.03 percent.
Third, another important development concerns the response from German potash producer K+S to weakness in the potash market. K+S announced it would be reducing production of the crop additive by lowering potassium chloride production by as much as 300,000 metric tons by the year’s end. Fourth, potash production could become a reality at Kalium Lakes’ Beyondie sulfate of potash (SOP) project thanks to an AU$102 million funding deal with German KfW IPEX-Bank. Kalium Lakes’ Beyondie project is located in Western Australia and is slated to be the country’s only SOP project once it enters the output phase. SOP is a high-potassium fertilizer used to strengthen and ripen flower blooms, as well as to prevent disease, pests and weather damage.
Fifth, another important development in 2019 concerns the phosphate market and how some companies are moving forward in the sector as supply dwindles as a result of China cracking down on pollution and questionable mining practices. Two such companies are Avenira and New Zealand explorer Chatham Rock Phosphate, both of which are steadily advancing their respective phosphate projects. In March last year, Africa-focused agricultural mine developer Avenira had moved closer to expansion at its Senegal-based Baobab phosphate project, following the release of a positive feasibility study.

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