* Price per tonne up $70 since H1 contract
* Volumes decline with end of stockpiling season
* No contract with India since expiry of last deal in April
(Updates with BPC comment, price comparison to first-half
contract, background on switch to half-yearly contracts)
By Natalya Shurmina and Andrei Makhovsky
YEKATERINBURG, Russia/MINSK, June 29 Belarusian
Potash Company, the agent for Uralkali and
Belaruskali, has sold potash to two Chinese fertiliser importers
at prices $70 a tonne higher than in the first half.
The contract, for 500,000 tonnes and an option for 200,000
tonnes, priced the deliveries at $470 on a cost-and-freight
"The latest contract with Chinese importers will be a new
price benchmark which will undoubtedly influence both spot
prices and long-term contract prices," BPC Chief Executive
Vladimir Nikolayenko was quoted as saying in a statement.
China and India are two of the top buyers served by the
trader, a joint venture between Belaruskali and Russia's
Uralkali, newly merged with larger rival Silvinit, which handles
30 percent of world potash supply.
The trade house has yet to make a new sales deal with Indian
buyers, even thought the last one ran out in April.
It is expected to sign a deal to supply potash to a major
Indian buyer at considerably above $500 per tonne, a source
close to the talks told Reuters.
The source did not provide any details on the time frame or
the volume for the deal.
BPC switched to six-month contracts with some key term
buyers this year after negotiations for previous years' sales
stretched well into the calendar year.
The second half contract was priced higher than the $400 in
the first half contract, though contract volumes were less in
the second half of the year, when stockpiling of fertiliser is
BPC said the contract was signed with Chinese state-owned
oil and chemicals company Sinochem and CNAMPGC -- the largest
Chinese importers of mineral fertilisers.
Belaruskali suffered a flood at a potash mine, it said on
Wednesday without providing details. It said the mine was
operating but the impact on output was unclear.
The Emergencies Ministry in Minsk said Belaruskali was
handling the accident on its own.
Uralkali suffered a flood at a key mine in 2006 which cost
it $218 million in costs such as the construction of a new
Potash, a yield-boosting nutrient in high demand as global
consumption of agricultural commodities increases with the world
population, is also a major natural resource and export
commodity for both Russia and Belarus.
Uralkali's chief executive said on Tuesday that Belaruskali
was an attractive acquisition target, though a deal is unlikely
in the near future.
(Reporting by Natalya Shurmina; writing by Melissa Akin;
Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters and Anthony Barker)