Potashcorp says 2012 should see record potash demand. India slashes subsidies 20%

Demand for potash could come in at a record 58 million tonnes this year Potash Corp COO David Delaney said on Wednesday in a webcast.

Delaney in a presentation at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Agriculture conference also said Potashcorp, the world's number one producer of the soil nutrient, expects balanced or tight supply for the next four years.

Potash prices have hovered around the $500/tonne level this year after strong gains the past two years, but the many greenfield and brownfield properties coming on line over the next few years adding as much as 17 million tonnes of additional capacity by some estimates will put pressure on prices later in the decade.

PotashCorp itself is on an aggressive expansion drive to increase its capacity to just over 17 million tonnes by 2015, from under 12 million tonnes this year.

In a separate development India announced on Thursday that it will cut state subsidies for potash and phosphate-based fertilizer by a fifth. India is the number one importer of potash at 6 million tonnes.