Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd. (RCF), India's second-biggest state-run maker of soil nutrients, plans to buy into potash mines in countries including Canada to secure supplies, Chairman R.G. Rajan said.
The price of the commodity has increased at least 13% from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Green Markets, as countries including China, the world's largest consumer, paid more for imports after a drought in the U.S. pushed up the cost of grains.
Owning stakes in mines overseas may help the Mumbai-based company shield many of India's 235 million farmers from rising costs when the annual monsoon is deficient. Lack of rain this year is threatening to crimp agricultural output. Potash, a form of potassium, is used by growers of crops including wheat, rice and sugar cane to strengthen roots and resist drought.
"India is a large importer of potash with no domestic supplies," Jason Miner, a chemicals analyst at Bloomberg Industries in Princeton, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview. "It's logical to secure supply of potash particularly if the acquirer thinks that potash prices will rise more than generally expected.". . .View Full Article