Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Lukashenka blasts Uralkali for selling potash at low price

Iryna LEWSHYNA, Naviny.by

Alyaksandr Lukashenka on Monday criticized Uralkali for selling potash at a too low price, but said that Belarus would be eager to have its sales alliance with the Russian company restored, BelaPAN said.

Speaking to CIS media leaders in Minsk, the Belarusian leader said that Uralkali's sales policy was harming the company itself. "The only thing that worries me is when they will stop dumping their goods and thereby ruining their manufacture of potash in Russia," the government's news agency BelTA quoted him as saying.

According to Mr. Lukashenka, customers agree to buy Belaruskali's potash at $400 per ton are later offered by Uralkali to buy its potash at $320 or $350 per ton.

He expressed certainty that Belaruskali would withstand competition from Uralkali. "Why are you working at a loss? Do you want to win markets? You won't manage to. We, of course, can agree secretly with all companies operating in the market, and you will fail to cope with the common market," he warned.

Mr. Lukashenka stressed that potash producers should work to secure the highest possible price.

The possible restoration of the Belaruskali-Uralkali sales alliance would send potash prices up and benefit both companies, Mr. Lukashenka said. However, he added, such an alliance would have to be transparent and not involve fraud.

Mr. Lukashenka suggested that Uralkali's decision to quit its alliance with Belaruskali was an attempt by its shareholders to profit from changes in share prices. "Such partners are not desirable to us," he said.

"We are ready for a union if the Russian side wants that. Let's agree, let's work together. Our potash businesspeople and I would like to see people interested in the production and transparent sale of potash as partners from your side," he was quoted as saying.