As one of the three main macronutrients, the potash industry supplies over 45 million tonnes of nutrient (K2O) to the global farming community, at a value exceeding $17 billion annually. Potassium is vital for all plants as it plays a key role in water uptake and the synthesis of plant material, improving plant health.
Key facts about the potash fertilizer market
- Production of MOP, the most widely traded potassium fertilizer, exceeds 65 million tonnes annually, of which over 51 million tonnes is traded between countries.
- The supply of MOP is highly concentrated, with the top seven corporate suppliers producing 84% of global supply. Geographically, Belarus, Canada and Russia are the largest producers, followed by China, Germany, Israel and Jordan.
- Most countries of the world buy some potash. The largest markets are China, Brazil, India and the United States. The top 15 national fertilizer markets consume 78% of global potash, whilst some 133 countries consume only 5% of global potash.
- China and India are two key import contract price markets, with Brazil, the United States, and Southeast Asia being the most important spot markets.
- In recent years increased capacity and an expansion of the supplier base has heightened price competition and ensured a buyers’ market for MOP. Prices have reduced from above $500 per tonne in 2012 to current rates below $300 per tonne.