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Potassium sulfate price index

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

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

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

 

Further information on the Potassium sulfate price index

 

What is potassium sulfate

Potassium sulfate is a chemical compound with the formula K2SO4. It is a white crystalline solid that is highly soluble in water and is commonly used as a fertilizer. Potassium is an essential nutrient for plants, and sulfate is a source of sulfur, which is also necessary for plant growth. Potassium sulfate is relatively inexpensive and is often used to supplement the potassium levels in soil that may be deficient in this nutrient. It is also used as a drying agent in the production of textiles, as a disinfectant, and in the manufacture of glass and ceramics.

 

How is Potassium sulfate produced

There are several methods for producing potassium sulfate, but the most common method involves the production of potassium chloride and sulfuric acid, which are then combined to form potassium sulfate.

Production of potassium chloride

Potassium chloride is typically produced by extracting it from natural mineral deposits such as sylvite or langbeinite. The ore is first crushed and then treated with hot water to dissolve the potassium chloride. The solution is then filtered and the potassium chloride is recovered by crystallization.

Production of sulfuric acid

Sulfuric acid is typically produced by the contact process, which involves the reaction of sulfur dioxide with oxygen to produce sulfur trioxide, which is then dissolved in water to form sulfuric acid.

Production of potassium sulfate

To produce potassium sulfate, potassium chloride and sulfuric acid are combined in a reaction vessel. The reaction is exothermic, meaning it releases heat, and the resulting solution is cooled and filtered to remove any impurities. The potassium sulfate is then recovered by crystallization and dried to produce a white, crystalline solid.

There are also alternative methods for producing potassium sulfate, such as the Mannheim process, which involves the reaction of potassium carbonate with sulfuric acid, and the Kieserite process, which involves the reaction of magnesium sulfate with potassium chloride.

 

What is Potassium sulfate used for

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

Fertilizer

Potassium sulfate is a common fertilization agent for plants because it provides both potassium and sulfur, which are essential nutrients for plant growth. Potassium is important for the development of strong root systems, and sulfur is necessary for the production of chlorophyll, which allows plants to photosynthesize. Potassium sulfate is often used to supplement soil that is deficient in these nutrients, especially in soils that are sandy or have a high pH.

Drying agent

Potassium sulfate has hygroscopic properties, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air. As a result, it is often used as a drying agent in the production of textiles and in the preservation of wood and other materials.

Disinfectant

Potassium sulfate is a mild disinfectant and can be used to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. It is often used in the production of soaps and detergents.

Glass and ceramics

Potassium sulfate is used as a flux in the production of glass and ceramics. A flux is a substance that lowers the melting point of another substance, making it easier to work with.

Other uses

Potassium sulfate is also used in the production of other chemicals, as a fire retardant, and in the manufacture of certain types of plastics. It is also used as a food additive and as a dietary supplement in animal feed.

 

Potassium sulfate market size

It is difficult to quantify the size of the potassium sulfate market with precision, as it depends on various factors such as global demand for fertilizers, the availability and price of raw materials, and regional differences in production and consumption. However, potassium sulfate is a widely used chemical, and the market for this compound is likely to be quite large. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the global potassium sulfate market was valued at around $2.6 billion in 2020, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.4% between 2021 and 2026. The report notes that the increasing demand for fertilizers, especially in developing countries, is a major driver of the market growth. Other factors contributing to the growth of the potassium sulfate market include the increasing demand for sustainable agricultural practices and the growing use of potassium sulfate as a substitute for other fertilizers such as potassium chloride.

According to https://oec.world/ :

Potassium sulphate, in packs >10 kg are the world’s 1872nd most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of Potassium sulphate, in packs >10 kg were Germany ($285M), Belgium ($167M), China ($157M), Chinese Taipei ($77.6M), and Russia ($63.1M).

In 2020, the top importers of Potassium sulphate, in packs >10 kg were Belgium ($85.4M), Mexico ($58.8M), United States ($50.6M), Nigeria ($44.6M), and France ($41.9M).

 

Further information

 

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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.
  • We are continually improving our data collection and processing methods and data will be updated from time to time as we improve the accuracy
  • We are working hard to upgrade the algorithm before April 1, 2023 and a further fine-tune by July 1, 2023
  • This the index trend of the price of the product group in general and not a single specification in particular
  • The source of the data are exclusively public non-confidential sources
  • 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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