(Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest fertilizer company is increasing output of the key crop nutrient potash in the face of a global shortage.

Canadia’s Nutrien Ltd. said Wednesday it would boost potash production by about one million metric tons in 2022 to a total of 15 million tons, with most of the additional volume coming in the second half of the year. 

That may not be nearly enough to meet demand. Sanctions on major producers means there could be a shortage. Second-ranked producer Russia may face sanctions due to its invasion of Ukraine, while third-ranked Belarus has already been cut off from global markets. That leaves Canada scrambling to supply agriculture powerhouses like Brazil, the biggest importer. The northern nation already supplies nearly all of the potash used in the U.S.

“Nutrien’s move to add one million metric tons of capacity, while sorely needed by the market, does not come close to fixing the supply gap if both Russia and Belarus are sanctioned out of the global potash trade,” said Alexis Maxwell, an analyst for Bloomberg’s Green Markets. 

Russia and Belarus together supply about 42% of the $35 billion global potash trade, or some 24 million metric tons annually, Maxwell said.




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