The potash cartel bust up

Potassium is one of three vital nutrients needed to grow food (the other two being nitrogen and phosphorous). To artificially boost potassium levels in soil, potash – potassium chloride – is mined deep underground and used as fertiliser, increasing crop yields around the world. Yet for such a vital function, economic deposits of potash are uncommonly rare. Just three countries – Belarus, Canada and Russia – account for three quarters of global supply. That concentration of supply has allowed one of the worlds’ most successful cartels to manage potash supply and hence prices. A Canadian marketing group and one from...

Potassium is one of three vital nutrients needed to grow food (the other two being nitrogen and phosphorous). To artificially boost potassium levels in soil, potash – potassium chloride – is mined deep underground and used as fertiliser, increasing crop yields around the world. Yet for such a vital function, economic deposits of potash are uncommonly rare. Just three countries – Belarus, Canada and Russia – account for three quarters of global supply.

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