19 May 2008 15:41 [Source: ICIS news]
VIENNA (ICIS News)--Limited supply options and strong demand have left muriate of potash (MOP) buyers unable to halt the upward march of global prices, a market source said on Monday.
Global MOP prices have risen to record highs this year with BPC (Belarusian Potash Company) hittting $1000/tonne (€640/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) in southeast Asia and Indian and Chinese contract buyers forced to pay substantial increases.
With demand for MOP high and a relatively small number of suppliers active in each region, buyers have had little choice but to purchase at these levels.
One European MOP buyer, talking on the sidelines of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) conference, said there was almost no negotiation on price with product offered more or less on a take it or leave it basis.
One buyer, which uses MOP to produce compound fertilizers, said there were occasions when passing on the high raw material costs of products like MOP had been difficult.
The source talked of resistance at the farm level and some consumers opting for straight nitrogen fertilizers rather than compounds such as nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium (NPK).
($1 = €0.64)
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