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Updated to Q1 2020
Southeast Asian potash inventories in Q1 will likely increase, supported by fresh demand from palm oil plantations. Bullish palm oil futures will support plantation owners’ fertilizer application plans in Q1 – notably as applications were skipped in Q2-Q4 2019, and palm crops may suffer if MOP remains absent from the soil.
Southeast Asian potash demand will likely increase in Q1 thanks to an uptick in palm oil futures, and the necessity for plantation owners to offer struggling crops vital MOP nutrition. However, uncertainty on the next long-term Chinese MOP import contract price could lead to delayed purchases – as seen with key Indonesian importer PT Pupuk, which delayed awarding a massive 300,000 tonne purchase tender closed in late Q4 into January.
Potash availability will likely improve in Q1, as producers exit maintenance turnarounds and end production curtailments in place since late Q3 2019. European producers will likely aim to ensure a balance between supplying local markets and advancing exports to Asia under contract.
It is likely European demand will increase in Q1 after a lacklustre Q3/Q4 2019 in terms of both demand and fieldwork. Fertilizer applications are behind, and restocking activity will increase apace. Additional demand will pull tonnes for blended fertilizers and specialist products.
With new planting season beginning to unfold, there will be a need for additional volumes as inventory at some points is tight, especially at some inland outlets. Any carryover volumes from last season are expected to be quickly consumed. Improving weather will benefit transportation of potash, especially once the Mississippi river re-opens.
There are expectations that if spring is not disrupted by weather, there will be a strong increase in crops sowed. If so, then it is projected a rise in fertilizer consumption will follow. Demand should also increase because there was more deferred inputs at year’s end, and some flooding in key states diminished nutrient levels.
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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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