Belaruskali increases stake in Lithuania port for potash exports

Source: ICIS News


HOUSTON (ICIS)--State-owned potash producer Belaruskali has bought a third part of the main terminal at the Klaipeda port in Lithuania that will be utilised to facilitate increased shipments of potash to foreign buyers, Belarus' ambassador to Lithuania, Vladimir Drazhin, said on Friday.

Speaking to the media, Drazhin said in addition to the current agreement there are ongoing discussions between the fertilizer producer and port officials regarding acquisition of another terminal as well.

While not revealing financial details or expectations of future shipments, Drazhin said the additional facility will allow for Belaruskali to have the opportunity to increase future cargo shipments and expand upon the volume that could be transported.

The potential for the fertilizer producer to expand its sales would be a positive development for the Belarus economy, as potash sales account for 12% of the nation’s income and roughly 10% of their export revenues.

The potash market has found itself recently in an uncertain position following the split between Uralkali and Belaruskali from their joint marketing venture in late July, resulting in accusations levelled against each other. The back-and-forth hostilities eventually culminated in the arrest and detention of Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner in Minsk on 26 August.

Baumgertner this week was released to house arrest but remains under the authority of Belarus law enforcement pending the completion of its investigation into charges the fertilizer executive abused his authority as chairman of the trading venture.