Potash

The US Geological Survey reported that while the world’s potash supply is plentiful, some regions lack potash deposits needs for food crop yields as importing the fertilizer long distances can limit its use and imports are often subject to supply disruptions.

The US Geological Survey reported that while the world’s potash supply is plentiful, some regions lack potash deposits needs for food crop yields as importing the fertilizer long distances can limit its use and imports are often subject to supply disruptions.

As quoted in the market news:

The U.S. imports more than 80 percent of the potash it uses, mostly from the Elk Point Basin in Saskatchewan, Canada. The Elk Basin is the world’s largest source of potash, having provided at least 20 percent of the world’s potash supply for nearly 40 years.

The U.S. produces potash from deposits in Utah and New Mexico. While production from the Michigan basin recently ceased, a large potash resource exists there.  Production and development of resources in Michigan have been hindered by low potash prices, dated production equipment, and poor transport infrastructure amongst other factors. A significant potash resource in Arizona has also been identified, but resources in other states tend to be relatively small.

Greta Orris, a scientist at USGS, commented:

Global scarcity is not the issue with potash – transportation costs are. We chose to assess potash because it is used primarily for fertilizer and with the increasing global population, the need for agricultural lands to be increasingly productive will continue.

A significant finding of this assessment is that there appears to be little to no potential to develop potash mines in either China or India, where large populations create the need for highly productive agricultural land, which in turn requires large amounts of appropriate fertilizers. High import costs have resulted in lower usage of potash fertilizers than commonly seen in the U.S., and the potential for the land to be less productive.

Click here to read the full US Geological Survey report.

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