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Phospho-land? Morocco’s plans to cash in on P scarcity (BusinessWeek)

November 21, 2010

This week’s issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek contains an extended, and somewhat alarming, article on the elaborate plans underway by Morocco’s King Mohammed IV to capitalize on the rising price of P (link).  Included in the plans are a 4-star hotel, a garden built in an abandoned P mine, a museum housing various fossils discovered in the mines, and an amusement park that would include equestrian center, an indoor ski

From BusinessWeek

slope (not kidding), and bungee jumping.  The article details various ways by which the global P market will come under increasing control by the Moroccan monopoly OCP.  So, while recent events (i.e. the new IFDC estimate of greatly increased P reserves, largely in Morocco) have provided some scope for optimism that the global agricultural system might have more time to deal with P scarcity as an emerging issue, this article drives home the fact that the key issue is not how much P is “in the ground”, it’s how much $ those who sit on that ground will demand to sell it.  Indeed, the age of “cheap P” seems behind us.

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