As reported by Argus Media, Muriate of Potash (MOP) sales within Australia rose by 9% last year to hit a 14-year high, as various factors combined to boost potash consumption.
The rise in demand is mostly attributed to potassium-deficient soils in Western Australia and growing awareness among farmers to the benefits of applying potash. Western Australia farmers have enjoyed good seasons and so had the cash flow to invest in fertilizers.
Australian sales totalled 391 000 t, the highest level since 2004, according to preliminary data from Fertilizer Australia.
Western Australia’s MOP sales totalled 159 000 t, up from 132 000 t in 2017.
Sales also rose by 8% in Victoria last year to around 89 000 t. Victoria is a major dairy state and high hay prices as a result of the drought encouraged some buyers to push potash into pasture growth, which boosted overall consumption.
Australia imports all of its MOP requirements.
New South Wales’ total fertilizer sales fell by 24% last year to 1.17 million t, while Queensland’s fell by 35% to 640 000 t. The two states were most affected by last year’s drought. These falls and in other states more than offset the 6% growth in Western Australia. Sales of all fertilizer products fell by 10% to 6.01 million t.