Global Potash Market Report: 2015 Edition


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Koncept Analytics

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Potash refers to a group of potassium bearing minerals and chemicals. The most dominant potash product in the market is the compound, potassium chloride (KCl), a naturally occurring, pink, salty mineral. For the most part, potash-bearing rock deposits are derived from the minerals in ancient seas that dried up millions of years ago. Fertilizer potash is principally derived from these potash rocks and requires separation from salt and other minerals.

More than 90% of the potash produced in the world is used for fertilizers. It is one of the three key ingredients for plant growth, which in turn is vital to meet growing food requirements. Its main functions include the production of sugar and starches, and the regulation of water conditions within the plant cells. It is also intimately linked with nitrogen use, by improving the effect of nitrogen fertilizer in the soil. Potassium activates over 60 enzymes which are involved in many important plant physiological processes.

It promotes photosynthesis, and intensifies the storage of assimilates; this is the reason why it is of particular importance for root and tuber crops such as potatoes. It also improves the quality and flavor of the vegetables and fruits. In brief, potassium raises yields and food value, builds disease resistance and improves shipping, handling and storage qualities. It is applied directly to soils, or physically mixed with other nutrients and applied directly, or chemically bound with nitrogen and /or phosphate. In animals, it helps growth and milk production. The most common forms of Potash are Potassium Chloride, Potassium Sulfate and Potassium Nitrate.

The key factors driving the growth of the potash market are growing demand of biofuels, rising global population, rising demand of rice and oil palm and declining arable land. Some of the noteworthy trends and developments of this industry are expansion in emerging countries and optimizing fertilizer application, rebound in potash consumption with favorable crop-to-potash price ratios and introduction of new potash projects. However, the expansion of global potash market is hindered by increasing concern of water availability, oversupply and falling prices of crop.

By combining SPSS Inc.