Russia's Uralkali halts exports through Belarus potash JV

30 July 2013 10:20 Source:ICIS News

MOSCOW (ICIS)--Russia-based potash producer Uralkali said on Tuesday that it has decided to discontinue exports through joint venture Belarusian Potash Company (BPC).

The company's board announced that it has decided to stop Uralkali's export sales through BPC and direct all export volumes through Uralkali Trading.

"Unfortunately, we should state that our cooperation with our Belarusian partners within BPC framework has come to a deadlock," Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner was quoted as saying.

Uralkali argued that the a decree made by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in December 2012 cancelled the exclusive right of BPC to export Belarusian potash. Subsequently, joint venture partner Belaruskali made a number of deliveries outside BPC, which Uralkali described as "unacceptable."

"In this situation we have to re-direct our export deliveries through our own trader," Uralkali said, adding that the company did "not exclude the possibility of cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis in future."

Also on 30 July, Uralkali said its trading arm Uralkali Trading reached an agreement with CNAMPGC, a major Chinese fertilizer importer, on 500,000 tonnes of potash to be delivered between 29 July and 31 December 2013.

"We believe that this agreement will provide certainty for the global potash market and the basis for overall growth of sales volumes in H2 2013," Oleg Petrov, Uralkali sales and marketing director, commented.

In January-June 2013, Uralkali produced 4.5m tonnes of potash, according to the company.

BPC is 50% owned by Uralkali, 45% owned by Belaruskali, and 5% owned by the State Association of Belarusian Railways.

By Sergei Blagov