14 January 2013 15:26 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Uralkali produced 16% less potash in 2012 than the year before as delays in the signing of new agreements with two of the world’s largest importers, China and India, hit global demand for the crop nutrient, the Russian potash miner said on Monday.
Production of potassium chloride in 2012 stood at 9.12m tonnes compared with 10.83m tonnes of potash in 2011, the company said.
The figures include output from the group’s Solikamsk facility, Uralkali added.
The producer’s average utilisation rate in 2012 was 80% despite lower production at the beginning of the year and again at the end of 2012, it said.
The company had operated at 60% capacity in the first quarter of 2012, while in early December Uralkali announced that it would cut production by half between December to March 2013 because of weak international demand.
The demand situation has eased after Saskatchewan-based Canpotex and Chinese importer Sinofert signed the first contract in China on 31 December for 1m tonnes of potash at $400/tonne (€300/tonne) CFR (cost & freight).
Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), which sells Uralkali’s potash, is also believed to have signed an agreement with Sinofert at the same price level, according to media reports. But no confirmation has been made by either of the companies.
In addition, Uralkali last week signed long-term supply agreements (2013-2017) with seven Russian fertilizer producers for 10m tonnes of potash.
Uralkali’s total annual capacity rose to 13m tonnes/year by the end of 2012 from 11.5m tonnes/year after the completion of the Berezniki-4 expansion.
($1 = €0.75)
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