Depending on world potash prices Belarusian potash producer could add capacity
Belaruskali plans to increase its production capacity for potash fertilizers to 15.9 million tons by 2025. At the moment, its production capacity is 12.9 million tons. Production volumes would depend on concluded contracts, so as warehouse stocks are minimal. In H2 2017, potash production is likely to decrease, entailing a decrease in the growth rates of the chemical industry. Lowered export duties on potash fertilizers unlikely to boost the company’s profits and enhance investment due to higher transportation costs. Due to low demand for potash from customers, potash prices are unlikely to grow at a faster pace. In addition, new players are expected to enter the potash market. Taking into account the planned construction of a potash plant by Slavkali and enhanced competition on the fertilizer market, Belaruskali production plans are likely to be adjusted downward to ensure higher prices on foreign markets.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.