Belaruskali to Expand Brazil Potash Sales After Uralkali Split

Belarus’s state-controlled fertilizer producer is planning to expand potash exports to Brazil after a former partner scrapped export controls of the fertilizer-making ingredient.

Belaruskali plans to build ports in northeastern Brazil to supply growing demand for fertilizer, Director General Valery Kiriyenko said in an interview today. The Minsk-based company already sends as much as 20 percent of its output to Brazil and expects the country to increase purchases as farming activity grows, he said.

“We are in Brazil looking for business, looking to assist one of the biggest customers we have,” Kiriyenko said by phone from Sao Luis, Maranhao. “Our main plan is to deliver high-quality products to the Brazilian market,” he said through a translator.

OAO Uralkali, the potash producer that suspended the venture controlling almost half of global exports, forced Belaruskali to approach its main customers, Kiriyenko said. He met with Energy Minister Edison Lobao yesterday to discuss port projects and is negotiating a partnership with Sao Paulo-based Sertrading to import and distribute its products in Brazil, he said.

Brazil imports more than 90 percent of its potash needs and 75 percent of its nitrogen-based fertilizer supplies, according to industry association ANDA. The country is expected to become the world’s biggest soybean producer and exporter this crop season, surpassing the USA, and is the third-largest corn grower and the biggest coffee producer.

“Brazil has big plans to increase agriculture, it will cause a higher production of fertilizers,” Kiriyenko said.

The potash price war has sent shares tumbling. Uralkali fell 23 percent in the past two days after announcing the end of export controls. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. slumped 8.5 percent today and Agrium Inc. (AGU) lost 2.3 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at pmillard1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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