Belarus to cut price of potash to $300

Belarus announced on Thursday that it will cut the price of its potash exports to $300 per tonne next year, Reuters reports. 

"We forecast 2014 potash exports of 7 million tonnes…" Deputy Economy Minister Alexander Yraoshenko said. "We cut the price to $300 per tonne."

This compares to the $379 per tonne averaged during the first eight months of 2013.

The global potash industry has been experiencing major pricing pressure since Russian producer Uralkali broke up the world's biggest potash cartel this past summer – a move intended to allow volume and cost-based pricing to steer the market.

Last week potash producer Mosaic reported quarterly results showing a 24% price drop from $453 per tonne last year to $342 in Q3 2013. In July, Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner predicted a price drop of 25%. 

Baumgertner is now serving time in a Belarus prison, charged with abusing power "for private gain." Bealrus President Alexander Lukashenko hopes to reunite the cartel, and has called for a change in Uralkali ownership as a condition for releasing Baumgertner.