BC Insight - Nitrogen+Syngas, Sulphur, Fertilizer International
Login
BCInsight Ltd
China Works
Black Prince Road
London, SE1 7SJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7793 2567
Fax: +44 (0)20 7793 2577

Publication > Issue > Articles

Fast track for Potash

Summary

The past year has been a successful one for the three FSU potash producers which constitute International Potash Co. (IPC). The prospects for the years ahead are even better, if current forecasts for the revival of consumption in the FSU and Eastern Europe come to fruition. This profile assesses how IPC is preparing to meet the anticipated growth in demand for its products.

Abstract

In comparison with other sectors in the FSU fertilizer industry, the potash sector has enjoyed a relatively good performance since the demise of the Soviet Union, and last year was notably successful as the main producers in Belarus and Russia increased production respectively by 20% and 30%. The average capacity utilisation rate rose to 55% - the highest level since 1993. This improved performance was the result of slightly higher domestic deliveries and significantly higher exports. 1997 was another record year for FSU potash exports, and sales within the region also increased, although they remained a fraction ofwhat they had been under the old regime. The main increases came from shipments to China, which were up by 400,000 tonnes K20 to 1.3 million tonnes. Sales to India were also up by 400,000 tonnes K20, to 560,000 tonnes, and Brazilian shipments rose by 300,000 tonnes K20, as buyers sought to fill the shortfall in supply after deliveries ceased from the Potacan mine in New Brunswick. Together, these three markets were responsible for most ofthe 1.34 million tonnes K20 in additional export shipments from the FSU. Other countries which contributed to the increase in offshore potash sales in 1997 were the United States, Malaysia, Colombia, Ecuador and the Ivory Coast.

Add to basket


Baltic upsurge

Summary

Having formerly operated under the shadow of the Soviet Union, the Baltic ports of Eastern Europe are enjoying a boom in trade as they seek new outlets for business, and this has encouraged investment in improved facilities. Much of this investment is urgently needed to enable the region's ports to realise their potential, but many market analysts are confident that the Baltic region will become an economic powerhouse, enjoying a rate of growth rivalling that of the Asian UTiger Economies" before they stumbled last year. Fertilizer trade is a key component of the traffic handled by the Baltic ports. How this trade is being enhanced is described in this review.

Abstract

The news that the Baltic Bulk Terminal established jointly by the Polish Port of Gdynia and the fertilizer producer Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy will go ahead is the latest in a series of investments that will transform the fertilizer ports of the Baltic region, making them highly competitive in international trade. Progress is proving to be very rapid indeed, offering major opportunities for the suppliers ofmechanical handling equipment and storage, bagging and distribution systems.

The Port of Gdynia is one of fout which the Polish development agencies plan to establish as links in a transEuropean trade corridor, in conjunction with its neighbouring countries, which will ultimatelyspeed up transit times from northern to southern Europe, as well as from east to west. In addition to the Baltic Bulk Terminal project, Gdynia is being developed for trade further north, as well as a transit route to and from Russia. Muchofits current trade consists offeeder traffic to and from the ports of northern Germany, as well as Rotterdam. In 1997, Gdynia handled an estimated 8.8 million tonnes, including 4.3 million tonnes of dry and liquid bulk cargo (coal, ore and timber products).

Add to basket


Meeting exacting standards

Summary

For fertilizer shippers, time is of the essence, and they seek ever-increasing standards of efficiency and productivity. The leading suppliers of bulk handling technology acknowledge this quest, and they have sought to develop shiploading, discharging and conveying equipment that not only meets the needs of the fertilizer shipper, but conforms to the most exacting environmental standards, as described in this review.

Abstract

In. the ports of the Former Soviet Union, improved efficiency and a clean local environment were for long neglected. However, these issues are now being addressed as the pons and terminal operators gain the funds to invest in long-overdue modernisation programmes. Those in the market for modern quayside handling systems have an increasingly wide choice oftechnology as they seek to maximise loading and discharge rates. Several factors determine the choice of investment, including the type of product handled, geographical situation of the terminal, length of conveying, and the geometry of the conveying line.

Add to basket


An enhanced choice

Summary

Increased vertical integration in the fertilizer marketing chain has put the spotlight on the development of increasingly sophisticated regional distribution centres, which offer comprehensive fertilizer blending, bagging and handling facilities. Recent developments among the leading suppliers of blending and handling equipment are described in this review.

Abstract

The economics of fertilizer production and distribution favour the use of bulk product for as long as feasible in the market chain. The former practice ofshipping large volumes of bagged fertilizers over long distances from the production base for discharge at the destined port and onward distribution has been largely superseded. Instead, the norm today is increasingly to ship the finished product in bulk and bag it in bagging plants at the destination port for distribution inland. Further refinements in the distribution chain are the shipment of granular ingredients for blending and bagging at the receiving port. Alternatively, regional blending plants may be established at or near the final marketing point. The savings in transport costs are supplemented by the flexibility which blending offers in meeting local agronomic and marketing needs. (Technology ofFertiliser Blending, J.E. Leonard, The Fertiliser Society, Paper No. 388, 1996)

Add to basket