Global Potash Demand May Face Test as Indian Imports Set to Ease – by Pratik Parija (Bloomberg News – February 21, 2021)

India’s going to be buying less potash after a run-up in prices, according to the country’s largest importer of the fertilizer, a move that may undercut expectations for global demand to hit a record this year.

Purchases in the fiscal year starting April may drop from about 5.5 million tons the year before, said P.S. Gahlaut, manging director of Indian Potash Ltd., which accounts for almost 50% of the country’s imports. He declined to give a forecast, but said demand will weaken as India still has a sizable stockpile.

“In India, consumption of potash is very price sensitive,” Gahlaut said in an interview. “Whenever prices have gone up, there’s an immediate effect on consumption.”

Potash is a nutrient that helps plants withstand drought and diseases. Prices have risen amid a surge in agricultural commodities to multi-year highs as this implies farmers will be planting more acres and using more fertilizer.

Bloomberg’s Green Markets sees global potash demand at a record in 2021, while Morningstar says it will likely set a new “high watermark.”

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