Brazil: the potash domestic capacity is in a growth trend

Brazil is a giant agricultural force, they are the world’s biggest exporter of coffee, orange juice and sugar, and the second largest exporter of soybeans. But they import some 90% of their potash needs, from places as far away as Canada, Belarus and Germany. The importance of potash derives from that it helps plants to grow strong roots, resist disease and withstand droughts. Brazil overtook India as the top global importer of potash in 2011, with imports of some 7.5 million tonnes KCl, i.e. a figure up in 21% on the previous year.  Now the top iron-ore and nickel producer Vale SA is a step closer to developing its Carnalita potassium project in northeastern Brazil after agreeing to rent mining assets from oil giant Petrobras. State-controlled Petrobras had rented the mining rights in that area in Brazil’s northeastern state of Sergipe for 30 years. The Brazilian governmental authorities are reforming the country’s mining code in part to make it easier to increase potash production and reduce the country’s dependence on imports. Brazilian food needs are increasing at a 3.8% rate per annum. Vale has a strategy of diversify from iron ore and becoming one of the world’s main fertilizer producers by 2017 by tripling their fertilizer production to some 25 million tonnes. The Brazilian government hopes to achieve independence of fertilizer imports by the end of the current decade. The main customers for the Brazilian potash are the soybeans (about half of the global supply), the sugar cane (also some 50% of the world output) and corn.

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