Potash prices were relatively flat for nearly two decades. Between 1980 and 2003, the average potash price was a little more than $100 USD/tonne. Rising potash demand caused prices to skyrocket in 2008 to $601 USD/tonne. This was a result of limited global supplies, limited arable land and mine depletion.
Potash prices in 2010 were down from the prices set in 2009. The average FOB spot price in Vancouver for 2010 was $343 USD/tonne. This was a 40% decrease from the 2009 average of $570 USD/tonne.
Prices were steadily increasing during the fourth quarter of 2010 and continued to improve into the first quarter of 2011. The average price in the first quarter of this year was $398 USD/tonne. This was due largely in part to the positive demand recovery in 2010. The increase in demand drove the inventory levels below the previous five year average, thus increasing prices at a steady pace.
In January 2012, the Spot potash price (FOB Vancouver) was $500 USD/tonne. The price then decreased slightly to $495 USD/tonne in February, but was well above the February 2011 price of $393 USD/tonne. In recent news, Canpotex signed a 2012, Q2 contract with Sinofert at US $470 cfr China.