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February 27, 2004

Uralkali Joined the Association of Producers of Mineral Fertilizers (APU)

A working meeting was held in Moscow by the Association of Producers of Mineral Fertilizers, whose founders are ZAO Fosagro AG, ZAO Eurokhim Mineral-Chemical Company and ZAO Azot Agro-Industrial Corporation. Apart from these companies the meeting was attended by representatives of the CIS Inter-Governmental Council for Cooperation in Chemistry and Petrochemistry, the Union of Potassium and Salt Producers and Exporters.

At the meeting by a unanimous decision of all APU members Uralkali was admitted to the Association as a non-voting member. In the opinion of Maxim Shirokov, President of Uralkali, the admission to such a prestigious organization as the APU is an important stage in the activity of Uralkali: "As a matter of fact, until recently, Russia did not have an efficient body uniting producers of mineral fertilizers. Fosagro, Eurokhim and Azot were initiators of the formation of such an organization - the Association of Producers of Fertilizers has been established on the basis of the already existing European experience. The APU faces monumental tasks. First of all, the Association must pool the efforts of the Russian producers of fertilizers to solve general problems, such as the transport component and assistance to the Russian agricultural complex. I an sure that our joint activity with other companies within the framework of the Association will very soon begin to produce results."

At the meeting Andrei Gurjev, President of the Association and a member of the Federation Council expressed the hope that the APU "will give a powerful impact to the development of not only the mineral fertilizers industry but of the allied industries as well, and, above all, to the Russian agriculture." He said that the priority task of the Association is to develop the domestic market of mineral fertilizers.

The meeting discussed the problems common to all Russian producers of mineral fertilizers, particularly, provision of rolling stock for transportation of raw materials and finished products.

The meeting participants took a decision to create an information and analytical center of the APU to keep the participants supplied with analytical materials and marketing studies. In the near future the APU plans to establish a public relations team.




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