Keywords: potassium, potash, fertiliser, consumption, demand, prices.
Potash demand is growing strongly, as a result of increasing population and improving diets. The growth of the biofuels industry, which utilises crops that tend to be heavy consumers of potash, is also adding to demand. World consumption fell in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the collapse of Comecon and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Since then consumption growth has been focussed on Asia and Latin America and most of the future growth will be focussed on these regions. The growth of demand in recent years has raised capacity utilisation at existing mines and is now leading to a new phase of investment. Strong demand has led to a sharp increase in prices in recent years.
Barrie Bain, BSc (Econ) and Lisa Smith, BA., Fertecon Ltd, Royal Victoria House, The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 5TE, UK.
23 pages, 9 figures, 4 tables, 2 references.