July 29, 2016 / 12:56 PM / a year ago

China finds big potassium deposit in Qinghai - Xinhua

BEIJING, July 29 (Reuters) - China has discovered a large potassium deposit in Qinghai province in the north, a finding set to ease the country’s import dependence for the key fertilizer, the Xinhua state news agency reported on Friday.

Chinese prospectors have assessed the find at 156 million tonnes of potassium chloride, after three years of work, Xinhua said, citing the Ministry of Land and Resources.

China relies on imports for more than 70 percent of its potash demand, with global supplies dominated by Canada, Russia and Belarus, Xinhua said.

China’s main grain producing regions in the south are generally short of potassium, resulting in annual imports of about 6 million tonnes of potash, Xinhua said.

China imported 3.37 million tonnes of potassium chloride in the first six months of this year, down 11.2 percent over the same period in 2015, according to official customs data.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Robert Birsel

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