India hopes to re-start discussions with Belarus concerning a strategic investment in that country's BelarusKali, which is moving toward privatization, according to a report in Mining Weekly. The report quotes a senior official in India's Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry as confirming the interest. Discussions were held in August of last year, the official said, but nothing developed.
The state-owned BelarusKali controls potash deposits comprising some one billion tons and has been valued at about $32 billion. The Indian government has proposed creating a fund of about $5 billion to support state-owned fertilizer producers and to acquire fertilizer assets overseas.
The article says Indian demand for fertilizer would rise 4% to 61.3 million tons during 2012/13 with urea consumption forecast at 32 million tons, diammonium phosphate at 13.2 million tons and potash at 4.7 million tons. India has postponed all purchases of potash and potassic fertilizer until September 2012, but the article says officials in the Department of Fertilizer say that even after imports are resumed, at least 50% of potash imports would be from BelarusKali.
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