India shows interest in Belaruskaliy
Besides, Indian Potash Ltd is interested in a long-term agreement on the supply of potassium chloride from Belarus. On August 27, 2011 the Indian Governments and Belarus signed a protocol concerning the examination of the possibility to conclude a long-term contract for buying potassium and India’s equity position in Belaruskaliy (this concerns a minority interest).
In aletter from the Indian Minister, it is stated that “within the implementation of the protocol the IPL takes on long-term responsibilities to buy Belarusian potassium and the IFFCO will be involved in the conduct of due diligence in relation to the possibility of purchasing a share of Belaruskaliy”.
The IPL company that supplies more than 60% of the Indian potassium market is a strategic partner of the BPC (Belarusian Potassium Company), an exclusive Belaruskaliy and Uralkaliy production exporter. India covers its demand in potassium fertilizers fully due to import, purchasing about 5 mln. tons of fertilizers annually. That is why the Ministry urges market players to buy potassium assets and create joint ventures with fertilizer producers abroad.
In our opinion, the probability that Belaruskaliy shares will be sold to residents of India seems low, as a minority interest will not allow them to influence the pricing and merchandising policies of the Belarusian enterprise. However, it should be admitted that the financial capabilities of the Indian Government are now substantial (by April 27, 2012 the Indian gold and foreign currency reserves reached USD295.361 bln.).
For reference. According to Belstat the production of potassium fertilizers in Belarus in the first quarter of 2012 decreased by 12.1% to 1.269 mln. tons compared with the first quarter of 2011. This was caused by the decreased demand for potassium fertilizers on foreign markets.
Thus in January-February 2012, Belarus abridged the export of potassium fertilizers compared with the same period of the previous year twofold to 377.2 thousand tons. In monetary terms in January-February of the current year the export supplies of potassium fertilizers dropped by 40% to USD285.581 mln. the average potassium fertilizers price grew in January-February 2012 compared with January-February 2011 by 22.1% to USD757.1 per one ton.
JSC Belaruskaliy is one of the world’s largest producers of potassium mineral fertilizers. All 100% of shares belong to the Government. The enterprise functions on the basis of the Starobin potassium salts deposit and comprises four mining departments, auxiliary shops and service subdivisions. It employs 18.589 thousand people. The share of the enterprise in world export exceeds 16%. The production is supplied to more than 50 countries. Belarusian Potassium Company deals with all exports.
Belarusian Potassium Company is an exclusive supplier of potassium fertilizers produced by JSC Belaruskaliy (Soligorsk) and JSC Uralkaliy (Perm region, Russia) to foreign markets. The BPC was established in 2005. Shareholders of the company are Belaruskaliy (45%), Belarusian Railway (5%) and Uralkaliy (50%). The BPC is the largest supplier of potassium fertilizers on the world market the company’s share makes up 42% of the world market volume.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.