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Sirius Minerals says agronomy study shows potential in China

China has announced a target of zero growth in fertilizer use by 2020, which could actually be a good thing for Sirius' super-efficient polyhalite blend according to the latest agronomy studies.

Chinese woman picking tea
China supplies 72% of the 4.8mln tonnes of tea consumed worldwide annually.

Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) has spotted significant potential in China, with a potential market opportunity of 7.5mln tonnes of its polyhalite blend.

The fertilizer development company released on overview of results from agronomy trials conducted in China to show the efficacy of its POLY 4 on keystone crops in the region.

China has announced a target of zero growth in fertilizer use by 2020 to resolve existing soil issues, which has been a major agricultural and ecological issue plaguing the Republic for decades.

It currently dominates global agricultural production, with an output of 1.74bn tonnes of crops contributing US$872bn to global economy.

It has identified the need for balanced fertilization from efficient nutrient sources.

That’s where Sirius Minerals comes in. POLY4 is the group’s flagship polyhalite product, a natural blend of nutrients essential for plant growth. It is mined from the world’s largest and highest grade deposit in North Yorkshire.

On-going crop trials have demonstrated POLY4’s effectiveness, showing a positive impact on soil nutrient legacy and not significantly affecting soil pH, meaning a more efficient use of the fertilizer.

The special blend is suited to China’s main crops. POLY4 is low in chloride, to which tea and chilli pepper crops are particularly sensitive.

Of the 4.8mln tonnes of tea consumed worldwide annually, China supplies 72%.

China produces 15.8mln tonnes of chilli peppers a year, around 39% of the global market.

The blend is also ideally suited to China’s $41bn annual oilseed rape market. Studies have shown it increased yield by 7% and improved nutrient uptake.

“The agronomy studies help to further demonstrate the value in use of the Company's POLY4 product and also support on-going engagement with current and potential customers,” said the group.

Shares were up 2.2% to 19.9p.


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