The global potash fertilizer market is projected to register a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the potash fertilizer market has been minimal, mainly due to transportation barriers. The lockdown restrictions have been exempted by government for all types of agricultural activities, hence there has been no such effect of corona outbreak. Indeed, the agrochemical companies have made double-digit profits as compared to last year, due to panic buying behaviour from farmers. The total global potash deposits amount to an estimated 210.0 billion metric ton of potassium oxide, of which 16.0 billion metric ton are recoverable using existing technologies. Among the 16 billion metric tons, Canada holds deposits to the tune of 10.0 billion metric ton, most of them in the province of Saskatchewan. Russia and Belarus hold 2.2 billion metric ton and 1.0 billion metric ton respectively and these three countries dominate the global potash supply, having direct control over the prices of potash fertilizers. Potassium is a major nutrient, required in high doses by plants. The element regulates the opening and closing of stomata and therefore regulates the uptake of Carbon dioxide. Potassium is also important for other functions such as activation of enzymes and the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).
Key Market Trends
Potash Deficiencies in Major Cereal Crops Driving Demand
Grains and cereals are crops that require high dosages of potassium. Since potassium is an element that moves quickly within the plant tissue, the deficiency is first noticed in older leaves. In the case of rice, the margins of older leaves turn yellowish-brown or dark brown necrotic spots appear on older leaves. In the case of maize and other cereals such as sorghum, firing or scorching appears on the outer edge of older leaves. Underneath the soil, poor root development and defective nodal tissues are observed. Potassium deficiency is commonly noticed in most soils across developing markets, which grow large acreages of rice, maize, and wheat.
Asia Pacific Leads The Global Potash Fertilizer Market
Potassium is mined from salt deposits. Large potash deposits are found in Russia, which is the world’s largest producer of this nutrient. Owing to large salt deposits in Russia, Asia-Pacific accounts for the largest share of the potash fertilizer segment. China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India are the largest potash exporters in the international market. The countries in Asia are recoding growth in the potash fertilizer segment, as they are witnessing increasing requirements for crops. In addition, these countries have historically been under-applied potash fertilizer, as compared to scientifically recommended levels of potash fertilizer application.
The potash fertilizer industry is highly consolidated with top players occupying the majority of the market. In 2020, the top companies involved in the potash fertilizers market at the global level were Nutrien Limited, The Mosaic Company, JSC Belaruskali, Uralkali PJSC, Intrepid Potash Inc, among others.
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