India starts talks on new potash import contracts -industry officials
By Rajendra Jadhav
MUMBAI May 31 (Reuters) - Indian buyers have started talking with potash suppliers on new import contracts, trying to settle them at a steep discount to last year's price, two industry officials told Reuters, as plentiful supplies gave purchasers new bargaining power.
Contracts signed by India and China are considered benchmarks in Asia, and are closely watched by other potash buyers such as in Malaysia and Indonesia.
India typically opens negotiations for imports of the key fertiliser ingredient in February, aiming to sign new contracts before the start of the next fiscal year on April 1.
However, India halted potash imports in February this year and delayed negotiations after successive droughts dented demand in one of the world's biggest fertiliser consumers.
"We are negotiating with suppliers. Hopefully negotiations will be over this week," a senior official with an Indian fertiliser company told Reuters over the phone from Moscow, where he was attending a conference.
"If negotiations fail this week, then suppliers could visit New Delhi in June to settle the new contract," he said.
Under the previous contract, India was buying potash at $332 a tonne on a cost and freight basis (CFR). Continued...