A Potash Shortage For 2019?

In 2017, potash output was marginally lower in the united states, however, the shortfall was offset by increased generation in Belarus, Canada and Russia, which helped increase the yearly total to 42 million tonnes, up from 39.3 million tonnes at 2016.

Greater output in 2017 retained potash costs in check at approximately US$330 a tonne — a far cry from 2009, once the agricultural mineral was selling for nearly US$900. Nevertheless, while costs prevented those highs, they also remained away from the highs of 2005, as soon as a tonne of potash sold for approximately US$150.

Potash Price Gaps

The price of blend grade potash traded at $235 per ton fob NOLA barge at the end of 2017, up about $25 from a year earlier but still off almost 40% from the price at the start of 2015. Gains last year in the United States, however, lagged increases elsewhere. For example, the price of blend grade product delivered to Brazil ended the year at about $265 per ton, up $70 from January 2017.

One argument for higher prices, at least in the United States, is that the large gap between prices in Brazil and the United States is expected to narrow this year. Producers likely will direct more tonnage into higher netback regions rather than continue to dump product into the United States. Strong fundamentals point to the U.S. price increasing rather than the Brazil price decreasing in order to narrow the gap. The recent announcement of a $20 per ton increase in North American prices has begun to narrow this gap.

In growing cannabis, potash deficiency can produce negative consequences. Growers must be prepared in preventing and resolving any shortage of this nourishing substance. Potassium helps boost density, weight, and volume of the nugs. Deficiencies seldom take place in hydroponic systems or water-based technologies. Check the system carefully once you discover symptoms before implementing any treatment.

Insufficiency of potash usually happens in soils as well as other mediums. Brown or yellow colors at the edges of leaves and tips comprise the most common symptom. Over time, the leaves curl or look charred like lack of iron. Stretching is another possible indication. Plants taller than others mean stems may turn out weak. This is not a good sign.

Next, spots will gradually appear on the leaves. More marks will emerge if growers do not administer any remedy. Unlike most deficiencies, the leaves’ veins remain green in color. However, stems and petioles or stalks connected to the leaves begin to show red tones.

Surplus of potash does not produce positive effects as well. Too much of the nutrient obstructs the inclusion of other minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. The overabundance produces darker colors in plants. It normally leads to other deficiencies. To deal with this issue, wash the roots to absorb the nutrients. Fill the water container with three times more than the average capacity.

Functions of Potash

Potash bolsters the strength and consistency of tissues during cannabis growing. Said nutrient also enhances resistance of marijuana plants in case of drought. Here are other functions of potassium in weed cultivation:

  • Participates in photosynthesis by improving the fusion of carbohydrates.
  • Helps facilitate synthesis of amino acids and proteins. The acids originate from nitrogen in ammonium form. Interaction between the two substances becomes crucial to various metabolic processes of cannabis plants.
  • Potash also works with phosphorous to increase the root system’s resistance.

Potassium takes responsibility for the modulation of the plant’s intracellular environment. It maintains ionic character, buffer pH which specifies acidity, and promotes favorable reaction.

From the close of the year, costs were roughly 20 percent greater when compared with the exact same period in 2017.

Nevertheless, future potash cost growth remains unclear as more potash jobs are slated to start in the subsequent two decades, increasing worldwide distribution significantly.


On the opposite side of the planet, Australian Potash (ASX:APC), a firm focused on creating its sulfate of potash (SOP) undertaking, also had a remarkable year.

SOP is a superior potash product comprising two important nutrients such as growing crops: sulfur and potassium.

In late October, Australian Potash made the very first potash salts in its Lake Wells job in Western Australia. It wasn’t merely an accomplishment for the business, but also a significant landmark for the nation.

“The SOP marketplace is all about where we expected it to be, and the cost has remained firm regardless of the danger of lots of fresh distribution,” he explained. “In respect to the massive SOP jobs on the market, nevertheless, supply isn’t guaranteed and is at best quite a couple of decades off — possibly 3 years’ time”

Concerns of a supply deficit were compounded in early November, when Nutrien declared it was permanently closing its potash plant in New Brunswick to concentrate entirely on its own Saskatchewan projects.

Potash costs will probably continue to be supported by strong demand and tight accessibility, which might spike spot market costs by another 20 to 30 percent.

Greater demand in China and India will drive the price even higher.

Investing In Potash

There are several organic potash sources that can provide potassium in organic vegetable gardens. Greensand, kelp meal, and hardwood ashes are all good organic potassium sources.

Plants need Potassium (sometimes called potash) for plant immunity, flowering and fruiting, and potassium is critical for producing the coloured pigments—like lycopene in tomatoes and lutein in corn—that are so good for us.

For investors interested in potash companies, it’s worth being aware of the difference between potash and phosphate. That knowledge can help guide investment decisions and can ultimately lead to increased profitability.

Investing in potash companies is also a way to invest in the future of the cannabis industry without directly investing in cannabis companies. Organimax  (KMAX) has potash projects in both Mexico and Canada  that comprise more than 424,000 hectares of land.


Disclaimer: Organimax is a paid client of High Energy Trading, click here to read full disclosure.

High Energy Trading is not a licensed broker-dealer, market maker, investment advisor, or underwriter. All information that we provide is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities.

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