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Updated to Q1 2021
MOP supplies into Asia picked up slightly in Q1, although volumes sold into the region were lower than is traditionally seen for the quarter. Continued controversy surrounding the environmental safety of palm oil in many European nations remained a headache for plantation owners.
Southeast Asian potash demand was stable in Q1, although issues with the region’s key export – palm oil – continued to weigh on plantations’ bottom line. Some large-volume tenders were heard, although the volumes required were smaller than expected, and in some cases the full requirement was not met.
European MOP supply was stable in Q1, with no restrictions in availability heard in the market. Q1 is typically a slower period for fertilizer demand and production in Europe. Some tonnes were redirected to the US, where demand was firmer.
European MOP demand in Q1 was stable, as winter months are traditionally a slower period for fertilizer production. Restocking activity is also limited during this period.
US potash supply was extremely tight heading into Q1 after 2020 year-end stocking activity trailed off for post-winter application. Multiple major suppliers were sold out through the end of Q1 before 2020 ended, and some market participants noted it was the tightest they had ever seen the region.
There was some demand for US potash during Q1, but little product was able to be found and by the end of the quarter, activity trailed off. Firm crop prices and a positive spring outlook supported the initial demand.
Updated to Q2 2021
Potash supplies into Asia will increase in Q2, in response to increased buying interest resulting from firmer pricing on long-term supply contracts into India and China. Despite this, large-volume buyers such as Indonesia’s PT Pupuk may be unable to source tonnes to their usual volume requirements.
Q2 potash demand in southeast Asia will increase, as buyers look to secure tonnes ahead of an expected price increase in renegotiated bellwether India and China long-term supply contract talks.
EEuropean MOP supply is likely to increase in Q2, as Europe enters the first peak application season. Some tonnes may be lost to key importing nations including Brazil, and some points in southeast Asia. It is likely European producers will keep tight capacity control on their mines and granulation plants to support higher offer prices.
European demand for MOP is likely to increase in Q2, as the continent accelerates spring planting amid warmer weather and farmers return to suppliers to restock inventories.
North American potash supply will likely recover some during the beginning of Q2, while the agricultural sector is between application periods. Producers will likely try to run as hard as possible ahead of the June-July refill period.
Potash demand in the US will likely increase towards the end of Q2 as the agricultural sector prepares for its early-summer refill period.
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Potash or Potassium (K) is the seventh most common naturally-occurring element in nature, and it is one of the three main macronutrients required for plants…
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