Thailand is strategically located relative to the growing potash markets of Southeast Asia, where the major use of potash is for rice and palm oil cultivation. The Company’s marketing strategy will focus on meeting the increasing demand of the ASEAN counties of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. These four countries consume about 75% of Asian potash imports (excl. China and India). Proximity to target markets, combined with convenient and flexible transportation options, provide major transportation cost advantages (up to $60.00 per tonne) over Canadian and European suppliers.
The majority of the growth in potash demand is expected to occur in developing countries, with demand in developed countries remaining relatively flat. Asia currently consumes over 40% of global potash production and the Southeast Asia region is expected to see the highest growth rate in potash demand. The target markets of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam currently consume over 5 million tonnes (KCl) per annum, growing at an estimated rate of about 6% per annum. Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s largest producers of palm oil, while Thailand and Vietnam are among the world’s leading producers of rice. The production of rice and palm oil account for some 70% of potash usage in the region.