US phosphate export group PhosChem has been disbanded

02 October 2013 19:56 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--After 39 years of handling exports of phosphate for Mosaic and PotashCorp, the Phosphate Chemicals Export Association (PhosChem) has been disbanded, officials with the two North American fertilizer producers confirmed on Wednesday.

While no explanation for ending the efforts of PhosChem was provided, both Mosaic and PotashCorp representatives said that the individual companies would now handle sales of the crop nutrient and future dealings with customers on their own terms.

The majority of PhosChem product came from Mosaic, which supplied an estimated 93% of the export volume.

“I can confirm that PhosChem has disbanded, and its members will now serve customers directly,” said Rob Litt, Mosaic spokesperson.

PotashCorp officials saying in recent years that very little of its output was being flowed through the association. The producer had already started selling directly its supply of phosphoric acid, thereby reducing availability for PhosChem.

Utilising five terminals in Florida, one in Louisiana and one in North Carolina, it is estimated that PhosChem had been supplying roughly 60% of North American exports and held about a 10% share of the global trade.

The breakup of the export association is the second fertilizer trade group to be split this year, following the exit of Uralkali from the Belarusian Potash Corporation in July.

That decision sent the potash market into immediate turmoil, but analysts said on Wednesday that this announcement should have very little repercussion in the phosphate market in terms of pricing issues or tightening of supplies.

By Mark Milam