On the cultivation of barley

| Production & Resources |

Adequately chosen proportions of fertilizers may protect the cereal from drought, diseases and too rapid growth. It is therefore a good idea to plan the sowing and the fertilization well in advance, so as to avoid problems that arise when the ears of corn appear or during the harvest season.

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Potassium from Belarus back in the game?

| Foreign Markets |

The chemical sector has not forgotten the market shake-up, which happened in Belarus Potash Company (BPC) last summer. That “divorce” triggered radical changes on the market. Let us examine the current situation of Belorussian chemical-fertilizer industry in this context.

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An alternative to artificial fertilizers?

| Production & Resources |

The scientists from Reach Earth Institute in Vermont were seeking for an effective fertilizer, which is not manufactured synthetically. Their immediate pick was at urine.

First experiments proved successful

In 2012 the team initiated a field trial. The scientists believed that if urine contains nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous, it may be used for enriching soil. The mineral elements were obtained from the residue present in water treatment plants. The first experiment involved using 600 gallons of urine. The test results were promising, as the efficiency of cereals fertilized in this manner was twice as high as in the areas where cultivated crops were not fertilized.

What the future holds

In 2013 the volunteers provided 3000 gallons of urine. REI staff are preparing another trial, in which as many as 6000 gallons are to be used. According to experts, if the Americans produce 30 billion gallons of urine, they might provide 5 kilograms of fertilizer per person. There are plans to develop drugs based on minerals present in human waste. The application of urine as a fertilizer is possible on a local scale. Nevertheless, practical application of this solution on truly large farms remains a challenge.

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KGHM and Fosfory on a joint project to seek natural resources

| Production & Resources |

On Friday 30th, 2013 KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. and Gdańskie Zakłady Nawozów Fosforowych “Fosfory” signed a letter of intent confirming willingness to cooperate. Basing on this document, both Parties are to engage in talks about the rules of cooperation during the implementation of projects concerning the search of and research into deposits of chemical resources in Poland and abroad, as well as recycling.

For Fosfory, a company located in Gdańsk and belonging to Grupa Azoty Puławy, the main objective is to obtain a source of polihalite, the sulfate of potassium, calcium and magnesium. The mineral is an excellent source of potassium for the manufacturing of complex fertilizers.

Seeking deposits and ensuring a safe supply of resources is of particular, strategic interest for all companies in Grupa Azoty – said Grupa Azoty CEO Paweł Jarczewski upon the signing of the agreement. He mentioned other possible use of the resource – polihalite might bring a change of complex fertilizers manufacturing technology used by Fosfory in Gdańsk and Police. Potassium in this form, as an ingredient of complex fertilizers, is absorbed by plants in a better way, makes fertilizing more effective and is more environmentally-friendly than that in the chlorine form – Mr Jarczewski added.

The above activities confirm the strategy of Grupa Azoty, a strategy which focuses on diversification of resources and gaining access to own resource deposits. The Parties are to initiate talks shortly and define the manner and rules of cooperation during this enterprise.

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The end of BPC and the future of potassium market

| Foreign Markets |

At the beginning of this week it was announced that BPC, a trading company bringing together Belarussian and Russian manufacturers of potassium, is planning to close after 8 years of operation. The closure of this joint venture company comes as a huge surprise to market analysts and observers. The obvious question is what changes the decision will bring for the global potassium manufacturing business.

Market dominance

BPC (Belarus Potash Company) has been active for 8 years and was responsible for 43% of potassium manufacturing in the world. It was the Russian producer of potassium fertilizers Uralkali that took the decision to cease exports via BPC, the potassium products dealer.

BPC was established 8 years ago with the following share structure: Uralkali – 50%, Belaruskali, a Belorussian potassium company – 45%, and Belorussian railroad company – 5% shares. The press announcement says that from now on the sole channel of distribution of Uralkali products will be via a company called Uralkali-Trading.

The results of changes on the potassium market

The comments of Belorussian and Russian experts vary. The most frequent conclusion is that the closure of BPC will bring the most losses for the Belorussian potassium company. However, Belorussian analysts predict that Uralkali’s decision will also have negative impact on the Russian company’s financial situation. In their opinion, the cooperation model in place to date has made it possible to decrease costs and improve profits.

Vladislav Baumgertner from Uralkali believes that the decision will result in a fall of potassium prices below 300 dollars per ton. Analysts and market experts, including those cooperating with “PUŁAWY”, doubt whether the recent events will actually bring prices down. It is too early to give opinion about the repercussions of BPC’s demise. Should there start a confrontation between Belorussian and Russian producers, the break-up of the market dominance ought to benefit the end users, namely the farmers.

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