Potash Corp provides analysis of potash market
In North America, we expect strong demand at the farm level to continue and securing potash to remain a top priority for distributors. With rail carrier backlogs limiting producers’ ability to recharge warehouse systems, sales volumes for the second quarter could be constrained – although the delayed start to the spring planting season is expected to provide some relief. For the full year, we maintain our view that total shipments to North America could approximate 9-9.5 million tonnes.
Potash demand in Latin America is expected to remain strong as farmers strive to increase crop production by planting more acres and enhancing soil fertility. We anticipate imports to this market will accelerate through the second quarter and remain robust through the seasonally strong July to October period. For the year, we forecast potash shipments to Latin America of approximately 10.5 million tonnes, including what could be record demand from Brazil.
With first-half Chinese contracts in place for all major global potash suppliers – including Canpotex –shipments to this market are expected to accelerate through the second quarter. First-half volume commitments are likely to meet a significant portion of China’s estimated import needs for 2014, and we anticipate a modest level of additional seaborne imports will be required during the second half. For the full year, we forecast total demand will approximate 11.5 million tonnes.
In India, the recent settlement of new supply contracts – including a 1 million tonne agreement with Canpotex – is expected to provide a base load of tonnage through the remaining three quarters of 2014. While fertilizer subsidies continue to remain a near-term challenge in achieving more robust demand levels, we expect 2014 shipments to India will approximate 3.5-4.0 million tonnes, exceeding the 2013 total.
In Other Asian countries (outside of China and India), low inventories and supportive crop prices are expected to help generate stronger demand in 2014. We forecast total potash shipments in the range of 8.0-8.3 million tonnes, exceeding those of 2013.
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