The US Geological Survey (USGS) has compiled phosphate rock and potash data by calendar year and crop year.
Marketable phosphate rock
US production of marketable phosphate rock was 26.2 million t in crop year 2016, compared with 26.1 Mt in crop year 2015. Marketable phosphate rock used was 26.0 t, compared with 26.6 Mt in crop year 2015. No sales of phosphate rock were reported because all phosphate rock is used internally by the companies that mine it. The manufacturing of wet-process phosphoric acid for fertilizers and animal feed supplements was estimated to have accounted for more than 95% of phosphate rock consumption. The remainder was used to produce elemental phosphorus or defluorinated phosphate rock.
Phosphate rock data for this report were collected through semiannual canvasses of US phosphate rock producers. All companies that produced phosphate rock in the United States participated in the voluntary surveys, representing 100% of the production, use, and value data shown in the tables.
Domestic apparent consumption decreased by about 2.4% to 27.7 t in crop year 2016, from 28.4 t in crop year 2015, because of lower phosphoric acid and fertilizer production.
Producers’ stocks increased by 36% to 9.34 t in crop year 2016. The average unit value of marketable phosphate rock used in the United States was US$83.78 per metric ton, compared with US$72.94 per metric ton in crop year 2015. Imports of phosphate rock decreased by 2.3% to 1.72 t compared with 1.76 Mt in crop year 2015. Mining companies reported no exports of phosphate rock in crop year 2016.
US production of potash was 680 000 t of K2O equivalent in crop year 2015 compared with 750 000 t in crop year 2015. Sales of potash were 590 000 t in crop year 2016 compared with 830 000 t in crop year 2015.
Production and sales of potash were lower owing in part to Intrepid Potash Inc., ceasing production of muriate of potash (MOP) from its underground mines in New Mexico. Intrepid will continue to producer higher-value sulfate of potash magnesia from one of its underground mines in New Mexico and produce MOP from solution mines in New Mexico and Utah (Intrepid Potash Inc., 2016).
Exports of potash increased by 21% to 85 000 t of K2O from 70 000 t in crop year 2015. Imports decreased by 18% to 4.36 t of K2O from 5.32 t in crop year 2015. The total customs value of potash imports decreased by 24% to US$2.13 billion from US$2.82 billion in crop year 2015.
Potash data for this report were collected through semiannual canvasses of U.S. potash producers. All companies that produced potash in the United States participated in the voluntary surveys, representing 100% of the production, use, and value data shown in the tables.
Apparent consumption of all forms of potash decreased by 20% to 4.9 t of K2O from 6.10 t in crop year 2015, owing to lower fertilizer use and lower use in oil well fluid additives.