Ahead of signing Belarus Potash deal, India looks for logistical clarity

Ahead of signing off a new deal for this year, India’s biggest potash importer asks a sanctioned Belarusian supplier of the soil nutrient to clarify the shipping routes that it plans to use.

The Indian Potash Ltd. have asked Belarusian Potash Co. to disclose the ports it will use for the shipments, said a person close to the matter in anonymity.

Those logistical concerns show that key Asian markets may also be affected by US sanctions, said, Elena Sakhnova, an analyst at VTB Capital.

After loosing a key transit route through Lithuania, Belarus had earlier said it is looking to reroute some potash shipments through Russian ports. This has come after the U.S. imposed sanctions on miner Belaruskali OAO on Dec. 8, with penalties against exporter Belarusian Potash becoming effective on April 1. 

 “Russian ports may handle the volumes instead of Lithuania, but given the sanctions risks, it is not yet clear if it will happen, said Sakhnova

Russian fertilizer producer PhosAgro PJSC last week in a statement expressed its doubt Belarus potash output reaching the markets.

At present, Indian Potash is in talks to buy 1 million tons of the soil nutrient from Belarus, a person privy to the matter informed.

On a Separate note, the Indian importer is negotiating with Russian banks to accept payment in rupees and transfer rubles to Belarusian Potash, the person said. Indian Potash still needs to pay Belarusian Potash for the last 300,000-ton tranche of the 800,000-ton contract for 2021, the person said.  

Source: Bloomberg

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