Saturday, September 01, 2012

Potash - the "pink gold" rush interviewed Fadi Benjamin, a mining analyst with Northern Securities Co., an investment bank based in Canada about a report from the International Fertilizer Industry Association that says "the fertilizer market is on the mend, with demand for potash rising 3.7% per year. Today, U.S. potash prices are at about $575 per metric ton (mt), compared with $380/mt last year."  Potash is used primarily for fertilizer.  The US imports 85% or more of its needs.

Benjamin argues that  farmers "stopped applying the mineral to cropland for a couple of years [due to high prices]. The holiday was possible because crops do not consume all of the fertilizer immediately, and the remainder stays in the soil as a reserve. But now, all around the globe, the potash content in soils is too low. The demand for potash has returned, and crop prices have significantly increased. We are now in a world of $7.90 spot corn prices, $16.65 spot soy and $8.89 spot wheat. It may take two to three years of aggressive potash application for North American soils to reach 2008 soil levels."

Three companies are currently exploring the Holbrook basin potash deposit in eastern Arizona.

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