The potash market has experienced rapid growth in the last decade due to an increased demand for food, fibre and feed. This is driven by market fundamentals, including the increase in global population; increasing incomes in emerging markets creating demand for more varied and protein rich diets; and the decreasing availability of arable land worldwide. Use of fertilizers is the best way to improve cultivation results from soil and increases in potash demand are expected to continue.
Global potash demand is forecast to continue to grow significantly over the the next 15 years. This is underpinned by demand growth in emerging markets such as Brazil, Southeast Asia, South America and India. Circum also plans to supply the growing fertiliser market in Africa. Circum's location close to Red Sea ports, results in substantial transportation advantages to India, China, the rest of Asia and Africa, ensuring Circum a strategic advantage as a preferred potash supplier.
Circum’s Danakil Potash Project will produce both sulfate of potash (SOP) and muriate of potash (MOP). MOP or potassium chloride (KCl) had a global market of around 65 million metric tons in 2018. MOP is commonly used in the commercial cultivation of carbohydrate crops (including wheat, oats and barley). SOP or potassium sulfate, by contrast, represents a small market globally, with demand of approximately 7 million metric tons in 2018. It is primarily used as a fertilizer source of potassium for plants intolerant of the chloride in MOP - mostly higher value fruit and vegetable crops - as well as for its beneficial sulfur content.