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INDIA STOPS IMPORT OF POTASH DUE TO DROUGHTS

02/22/2016

India halted potash imports and postponed negotiations around next year’s imports until June 2016 due to weak demand caused by drought. Potash is a crop nutrient that is used to fertilize farmland. This is India’s first halting of potash imports in years and comes alongside decreased demand from China and Brazil as well. India’s major suppliers of potash include Uralkali, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, and Arab PotashCo. Even with this decision, India has 1.1 million tons in potash inventory, which highlights the crisis that India’s farm sector is experiencing. Droughts have slowed planting of corn, cotton, rapeseed, rice, sugarcane, soybean, and wheat. The other impact of the drought is that India is becoming a net buyer of commodities. This threatens its agriculture sector, which is responsible for the employment of two thirds of India’s 1.25 billion population. Next year’s imports depend on June-September’s monsoon rains, which contribute approximately 70% of India’s annual rainfall and are important for sustaining the half of Indian farmland that does not have irrigation systems. For the full story, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-india-potash-idUKKCN0VQ1BT