Potash
Supply & Demand
Supply & Demand

Globally, the demand environment for potash is much more balanced than the supply environment.  The majority of the market is split among south and east Asia, Latin and North America, and west and central Europe.  China, the United States, Brazil, and India are the major potash-consuming countries, which together represent about two-thirds of world potash consumption.

China is normally the world’s largest consumer of potash, reaching peak consumption of 10.2 million tonnes KCl in 2007, or about 17% of the total.  Even amidst the start of the economic downturn in 2008, China still consumed 9.2 million tonnes KCl.  China’s demand for potash has been consistently growing over time, heavily contributing to overall consumption growth in Asia.

The United States is the world’s second-largest potash consumer.  The U.S. uses potash primarily for the production of corn, soybeans, cotton, and wheat.  

Brazil is typically the third-largest potash consumer.  The country uses most of its potash to produce sugar cane.  In 2007, the country produced 550 million tonnes of sugar cane and consumed approximately 6.8 million tonnes of potash.

2008 K2O consumption in Brazil by state:
1. Mato Grosso 648,000 tonnes
2. São Paulo 547,000 tonnes
3. Paraná 493,000 tonnes
4. Minas Gerais 425,000 tonnes
5. Rio Grande do Sul 395,000 tonnes
6. Goias 325,000 tonnes
7. Bahia 290,000 tonnes
8. Mato Grosso do Sul 183,000 tonnes


Brazil’s Agricultural Sector

Quick Facts:

  • World’s fastest growing potash market
    • Brazil imports 90% of its potash requirements
    • Brazil uses 80% of all potash supplied to South America
    • Consumption in Brazil is expected to grow from 6.8 million tonnes in 2007 to 9+ million tonnes in 2012
  • Global Agricultural Powerhouse
    • Agricultural exports >US$175 billion per annum
    • 27% of global meat export market
    • Brazil will export more meat than U.S., Canada, Australia and Argentina by 2016
    • Arable land increasing by 4.5% per annum
    • World leader in ethanol production from sugar
    • Soybean, rice and corn are all strategic crops
    • Brazil soils are potassium deficient, while the crops grown require potash nutrients

Currently, Sergipe Basin is the only producing potash basin in Brazil
  • Production of approximately 700,000 tonnes of KCl per year

The usage of fertilizer was the biggest factor of the increase of grain production in Brazil using the same cultured area.


Potash Production and Consumption

There are few potash producers (12 countries) and many consumers (approximately 150 countries); Brazil accounts for 80% of Latin America consumption

 Source: Fertecon

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