Belaruskaliy stopped

2006 2006-06-13T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The situation with the company Belaruskaliy is close to a disaster. All the four mines have stopped working today. The decision taken yesterday, June 12, at a session of the companys leadership, was stipulated by the repletion of stocking premises, as the newspaper Salidarnasts reports ( ). The company will remain standstill till June 25; then, perhaps, two mines will be geared again. Nevertheless, mine administration #1 might resume its work tomorrow. The recent situation with full stocks can result in lower salaries and life standard.

Now its impossible to get $1 mln of profit (this was the goal set by the company in 2005). It is also impossible to accomplish the recent plan of ore and concentrate production. At the session, the companys leadership decided on the way to explain the reasons of the stoppage to the public and discussed possible consequences for the employees for the nearest 3 months. It was stated that the management of the Belausian Potassium Comnapy Ltd. (BPC) still hold talks over foreign export contracts. This pretext has been exploited since the end of April, when Belaruskaliy faced the first problems with sales.

At present, price discords hinder the BPC from settling business with its major buyer - China (in 2005, 2.1 mln tons out of the general amount of 7.1 mln tons of fertilizers was exported to China). The basic reason of the export problem is obvious - meddling into the well-developed marketing policy. Moreover, according to experts, the problem will not be solved until the BPC elaborates a new export system, which should be done gradually.

All the negotiations over export contacts are held secretly. Today the potassium issue was to be considered by the Presidium of the Council of Ministers of Belarus, but the session was postponed till June 20 at the BPCs request. As a representative of Belneftekhim told the Salidarnasts, at present the BPC holds talks with India and Pakistan, besides China. And the company still insists on higher prices - up to $ 240-245 per ton ($ 40 more than the price of the last year). And the BPC representatives assure the powers that the talks can be a success. Experts, in their turn, sound less optimistic. The newspaper Belorusy I Rynok reported on possible contracts with China, but an agreement cannot be signed earlier than in July - at that time the country launches preparation campaign of the new agricultural season. Nevertheless, the experts consider the chance to get the 2.1 mln tons contract this year very small.