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Global Potash Prices Unlikely to Spike Due to the Flooded Russian Mine

Pesticides and specialty nutrients, global potash prices will not spike following the shutdown of a flooded mine in Russia, says Coromandel International Ltd, an Indian enterprise founded in early 1960s by the Chevron Companies of the United States in the fertilizers business. Coromandel purchases about half a million tons of potash every year, most of which comes from Canpotex Ltd affiliated with the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. The firm subsequently sells fertilizers and nutrients to Indian farmers. The country of a billion is the world’s biggest phosphate importer.

According to Kapil Mehan, Coromandel’s CEO, the situation at the Solikamsk-2 mine in Russia will not have any major impact on potash prices because demand for potash is starting to revive. Moreover, Uralkali OAO, the world’s number one potash manufacturer, is starting repairs at the flooded mine. Solikamsk-2 mine in Russia accounts for about 3.5 percent of the world’s capacity.

Coromandel, one of India’s major potash traders had secured supplies by March 2015 while the country’s stock of fertilizers is normal. Sluggish potash demand growth for the last eight years, however, troubles producers who are growing wary of price spikes damaging demand, Mr Mehan thinks. “I suppose Uralkali will try to make up those volumes from their other mines and if that happens, I don’t think it should disturb the stability of prices,” he said. The situation around the Russian mine shutdown is being monitored by analysts, but it is not yet sure how exactly it can affect the operations of the company. Uralkali’s CEO Dmitry Osipov announced last week that the company may start its mining operations in other areas.

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