Global potash demand may rise slightly in 2012

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World demand for muriate of potash (MoP) could increase slightly to 58 million tonnes in 2012, according to Uralkali, a global potash manufacturer.

Economic Times reported that in 2011 calendar year, global demand for muriate of potash (MoP) was estimated at 57 million tonnes (MT).

"In general, the market is estimated to be fairly balanced in 2012. Fundamentals remain supportive and we expect strong demand from Q2 with total consumption reaching 56 million to 58 million tonnes," the company said in a statement.

Net profit for Uralkali rose in 2011 after a merger with Russian fertilizer producer Silvinit. Uralkali has a major expansion plan in place and expected to increase production capacity to 19 MT by 2021 from existing capacity, the Economic Times reported.

Uralkali's projection of demand likely stemmed from it reducing its production target for 2012 after global demand for 2012 decreased.

"Sales volumes by potash producers will be lower than last year ... at the start of the year inventories were quite high," Chief Executive Vladislav Baumgertner told Reuters on Wednesday.

He added that Uralkali expected to produce 10.2 million to 10.3 million tonnes of potash this year, slightly below an earlier forecast of 10.5 million. The company mined 10.8 million tonnes of the soil nutrient in 2011.

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