World Potash Supply

In the late 1800s, when Germany started mining for potassium salts and supply increased, a world fertiliser market was created.

Now the supply of potash is dominated by three countries who typically provide two thirds of the world’s supply of Muriate of Potash (MOP); Canada, Russia and Belarus.

There are less than 12 other countries that produce a meaningful supply for global markets (those in excess of 500,000 tonnes per year of MOP production).

China is currently the largest Sulphate of Potash (SOP) producer, largely using the resource intensive Mannheim method. Western Australian is currently developing several SOP operations that will challenge China’s dominance in this premium market in years to come, most notably because of their use of the more environmentally friendly solar evaporation of brine and salt reaction methods.

Although the market is dominated by MOP, increasingly with the focus on organic certification and sustainable environmental impacts, the premium product SOP is gaining market share. World demand for food growth continues, along with population growth, with SOP being the only potash based fertilizer suitable for crops, such as vegetables and fruiting plants.

In Australia, all potash types are currently imported. Australian farmers need access to economical and environmentally friendly Australian potash to replenish depleted Australian soils and to help Australian farmers remain competitive in international markets.