Potash, mainly driven by the fertiliser industry, obeys a basic supply-demand scenario: people need food to live, and food (in its various forms) requires nutrients to optimise its production. In other words, potash is an essential nutrient which has no substitute.
After the ups and downs of the financial crisis of 2008-09, the potash industry returned to growth in 2011 - pushing up consumption and prices. Potash prices range $535/tonne CFR in South East Asia, $550/tonne in Brazil, and $470/tonne in China at present.
In spite of a slight slowdown since the last quarter of 2011, which has seen buyers delaying their purchases amid the global economic uncertainty and the main potash producers cutting production in 2012, the long-term outlook remains highly positive for the industry.
Demand is anticipated to increase significantly to meet the needs of fast growing economies such as Brazil, China, and India.