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.
The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.
In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.
The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.
There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.
That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.