World looks to Canada to fill potash, uranium void left by Ukraine

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson. (Image courtesy of Province of British Columbia.)

Buyers scrambling for supplies of potash and uranium are looking to Canada to fill gaps caused by the war in Ukraine.

The northern nation has been approached by those seeking potash and uranium, said Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. The country is one of the world’s main sources of the two commodities and buyers are anxious to secure supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted trade flows.

Potash, a commonly used fertilizer, and uranium have been swept up in the global commodities rally after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia is a major source of uranium and a low-cost high-volume global producer for all major fertilizers. Disruptions in the potash trade will mean higher costs for farmers across the globe and in turn, more food inflation.

RELATED: Nutrien sees long-lasting disruption to fertilizer market from Russian invasion

“We have been approached, as has Minister (Melanie) Joly of Global affairs” by partners seeking potash, Wilkinson said Thursday in a press conference. “Countries approached me about uranium.”

Russia produces about 35% of the world’s enriched uranium for reactors, about twice as much as the No. 2 provider, according to UxC LLC, a nuclear industry researcher.

North America’s largest miner is Canadian company Cameco Corp. The producer told Bloomberg earlier this month in an email that its production plans remain unchanged from what they announced in February, which was that they vowed to maintain supply discipline by limiting production at two of its key Canadian uranium operations.

But Cameco also said it’s in a “very strong position” to offer power companies an alternative uranium source and conversion feedstock if sanctions affect Russian supply.

Commercial discussions are always ongoing, the company said in an email Thursday, declining to provide specifics.

(By Robert Tuttle, Jen Skerritt and Joe Deaux)


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *