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Potassium nitrate index

This post is a summary of the Potassium Nitrate price developments. The price developments of Potassium Nitrate are expressed in US$ prices converted FX rates applicable at the time when the price was valid. Potassium Nitrate price index developments are calculated from multiple separate sources of data to ensure statistical accuracy.

The outlook for Potassium Nitrate prices, on the second tab, is generated from different inputs including:

  • Very recent price developments of immediate cost drivers of Potassium Nitrate prices
  • Recent price developments of underlying feedstocks which drive the price of Potassium Nitrate
  • Market futures for both cost drives and feedstocks of Potassium Nitrate prices
  • Adjustment of current supply/demand imbalances in the Potassium Nitrate market
  • Longer term trends in likely demand conditions

Further information on the Potassium nitrate price index

Here is some further information

 

What is potassium nitrate

Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula KNO3. It is a type of salt that is composed of potassium ions (K+) and nitrate ions (NO3-). It is a white, crystalline solid at room temperature and has a salty, slightly bitter taste. Potassium nitrate is soluble in water and is commonly used as a fertiliser, a food preservative, and a component of some explosives. It is also used in the production of fireworks, matches, and some types of glass. Potassium nitrate is highly reactive and should be handled with caution.

 

How is potassium nitrate produced

There are several methods for producing potassium nitrate, including:

Nitration of potassium carbonate

Potassium carbonate (K2CO3) is treated with concentrated nitric acid (HNO3) to produce potassium nitrate and carbon dioxide gas.

Nitration of potassium hydroxide

Potassium hydroxide (KOH) is treated with concentrated nitric acid to produce potassium nitrate and water.

Nitration of potassium chloride

Potassium chloride (KCl) is treated with concentrated nitric acid to produce potassium nitrate and hydrochloric acid (HCl).

Calcination of animal manure

Animal manure is heated in a kiln to produce a mixture of potassium nitrate and other compounds. The potassium nitrate is then separated and purified through a series of chemical processes.

Leaching of natural deposits

Potassium nitrate can be extracted from natural deposits by leaching the mineral with water. This method is commonly used in Chile, where large deposits of naturally occurring potassium nitrate are found.

Regardless of the method used, the production of potassium nitrate requires careful handling and safety precautions due to the use of concentrated acids and the highly reactive nature of the compound.

 

What is potassium nitrate used for

Potassium nitrate is used for a variety of purposes, including:

Fertiliser

Potassium nitrate is a key component of many fertilisers and is used to improve the growth and yield of crops. It is particularly useful for plants that require a high level of nitrogen, such as leafy vegetables, tomatoes, and tobacco.

Food preservative

Potassium nitrate is often used as a food preservative, particularly in the production of cured meats such as ham and bacon. It helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and extends the shelf life of these products.

Explosive

Potassium nitrate is a key component of some explosives, such as black powder, which was used as a gunpowder substitute in the early days of firearms. It is also used in the production of some types of fireworks.

Glass production

Potassium nitrate is used in the production of some types of glass, such as heat-resistant borosilicate glass and flame-resistant tempered glass.

Medicine

Potassium nitrate is used in some dental and oral hygiene products, such as toothpaste, to help reduce sensitivity and strengthen tooth enamel. It is also used as a medication to treat some heart and circulation problems.

Other uses

Potassium nitrate is also used in the production of matches, dyes, and some types of rubber. It is also used in the process of electroplating and in the production of some types of soaps.

 

Further reading

 

Trade and market information about Potassium nitrate

It is difficult to accurately estimate the size of the global potassium nitrate market as it depends on various factors such as demand for fertilisers, food preservatives, and explosives, among others. However, it is a significant market with a wide range of uses. Potassium nitrate is a key component of many fertilisers and is used to improve the growth and yield of crops, particularly in developing countries where demand for food is increasing. It is also used as a food preservative, particularly in the production of cured meats such as ham and bacon, which are popular in many countries. In addition, potassium nitrate is a key component of some explosives and is used in the production of fireworks, which are widely used for cultural and recreational purposes. The demand for potassium nitrate is likely to continue to grow in the coming years as the global population increases and the demand for food and other products that use potassium nitrate as a key ingredient increases.

According to https://oec.world/ :

Potassium nitrate are the world’s 2147th most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of Potassium nitrate were Chile ($312M), Israel ($106M), Jordan ($89.7M), Netherlands ($72.9M), and China ($72.6M).

In 2020, the top importers of Potassium nitrate were Spain ($111M), Netherlands ($102M), United Arab Emirates ($65.7M), United States ($56.7M), and Turkey ($34.8M).

 

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Notes on the price-data

  • We aim to update the data series on the 11th and 25th of each month (but we do not always make it for each chart)
  • The data for the current month and recent history are fine-tuned over time.
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  • This the index trend of the price of the product group in general and not a single specification in particular
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  • We combine public publications, import/export records, company announcements, and sources of ad-hoc public information.
  • The chart shows the price trend,  nearly always taken from many statistically-correlated sources 
  • The data is presented in US$. The UOM of measure is shown in the Index list table
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