Uralchem and Uralkali plan Russian fertilizer hub in southeast Africa

February 9, 2018

Dmitry Mazepin, chairman of the board of Uralchem and deputy chairman of Uralkali, both major producers of fertilizers, visited Southeast African countries earlier this month and met with Edgar Lungu and Emmerson Mnangagwa, respectively presidents of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Negotiations were held on cooperation with the two Russian fertilizer producers and on the establishment of a Russian hub in the southeast African countries for the direct supply of fertilizers, demand for which will grow rapidly in the next several years.

Cooperation with the Russian companies will allow Zambia and Zimbabwe to significantly reduce fertilizer prices for African farmers currently purchasing from intermediate sellers at $450–500/metric ton on average. Russia can offer fertilizers in the world market, including African ports, at $250–300/metric ton. At present, the volume of Uralchem and Uralkali products supplied to southeast Africa amounts to about 100,000 metric tons/year, and in the short term, according to Mazepin, it may reach 500,000–600,000 metric tons/year.

“We want to commence our cooperation as soon as possible. Zambia is located in the center of Southeast Africa and, should our experience prove a success, it will present a positive example for the rest of the countries in the region,” said President Lungu. President Mnangagwa in what was his first contact with Russian business since inauguration, said, “The country is now opening for business, Russian included. In the last 16-17 years, we have been isolated due to the Western sanctions, but now the economy is entering a period of growth. We will give a special priority to the mining, agricultural and manufacturing industries. Capital used to flee from Zimbabwe, and now we need competition.” He added that restrictions on doing business in Zimbabwe for foreign investors have been lifted.

Source: Chemical Week