NEW DELHI (TIP): Indian Potash Ltd (IPL) has signed a contract with Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) to import 1 million tonne of muriate of potash (MOP) at $427 a tonne this calendar year. The pricing of the new deal is about 15 per cent lower than the previous contract signed at $490. BPC, a joint venture distributor of Belaruskali and Uralkali, will begin MOP supplies to IPL from this month till January 2014. “The delivery price of potash fertiliser for India has been set at $427 a tonne on CFR basis.
BPC deliveries under the contract with IPL will total 1 million tonnes,” BPC said in a statement. “We strongly believe that the agreement bringing us one step forward in restoring potash demand will influence positively both the domestic and global potash market,” said Valery Ivanov, CEO of BPC.
India, which is dependent on imports to meet its potash demand, imported about 5.5 million tonnes of the nutrient in the past 18 months. The IPL-BPC deal is probably the first of its kind to be announced by the Indian fertiliser makers, who are going slow in signing new contracts this year as the country still has huge unsold stocks of the nutrients. Erratic monsoon and high prices had impacted the fertiliser offtake last year, resulting in stock build-up.
Besides, the Government had recently told the fertiliser companies not to bring in any nutrients till the end of current fiscal. IPL, the largest importer of potash in the country, expects to negotiate with other suppliers for another million tonnes in the current year, said Managing Director P.S. Gehlaut. “We expect to bring in the MOP shipments from BPC into the country from April onward,” Gehlaut said.