MANNHEIM, Germany, July 2 (Reuters) - Fertiliser maker K+S SDFG.DE expects price declines in its main product potash to help revive demand from farmers towards the end of the year, the head of the company’s main fertiliser business told Reuters.
It remained uncertain, however, whether sales volumes would return to levels seen in 2007 as soon as next year or whether the recovery would take until the first half of 2011, division head Joachim Felker said on the sidelines of a news briefing.
Demand for potash, one of the three minerals that are vital for synthetic fertilisers, have tumbled as farmers ran into hard times taking out debt to finance procurement and as the world market awaits the end of price negotiations with the Chinese import monopoly, the world’s largest potash user.
Felker also said on Thursday that India was likely to come to an agreement with potash suppliers first, possibly in mid-August, and that China could follow suit within weeks, albeit at a lower price than India.
Should negotiations drag on for much longer, he said, potash miners are likely to cut output further, which could eventually see China and India scramble for the remaining supply on the market, which could boost prices. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger)