Breakup Of Cartel Could Lower Potash Prices

Russia's uralkali has dismantled the world’s largest potash cartel in a move that could slash potash prices by 25%.

Breaking up the Belarus Potash Co. (BPC), a joint venture with Belarussian partner Belaruskali, by Uralkali could cause a price war, lead to cancellations of mining projects by rivals and give farmers better price deals, Reuters reports.

North America’s Canpotex is now the dominant potash export venture. BPC and Canpotex had accounted for 70% of global trade in potash.

Uralkali says it pulled out of the joint venture after reaching a deadlock over sales, and will export potash via its Swiss-based Uralkali Trading, chief executive Vladislav Baumgertner says.

The decision may lead to a fall in the global potash price to below $300 per ton in the second half of 2013 from the current $400, Uralkali reports.

“In the near future, we expect global competition to become stronger and that will push prices down,” Baumgertner said.

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