The company says with the combination of population growth, changing diets and the need for cultivated soil to support higher and higher crop yields, there is a long-term trend to steady demand for many decades.
Industry expansion of 27 million tons in the last ten years has led to over-capacity and contributed to potash prices at their lowest level in a decade.
The company expects the peak of over-supply occurring within the next few years but consumption should catch up to capacity in the 2020’s, but depends on many factors.
Prices are expected to improve and the need for additional supply to appear.
The BHP Billiton report says it may take some time for potash prices to recover, but todays prices are not sustainable given the need for the industry to grow with demand over the long term.
The areas for potash development are quite scarce around the world, with over 60 percent of potassium chloride production from deposits in Saskatchewan, Russia and Belarus.