The Kalisyndikat GmbH was a German economic cartel of the potash (Kali) industry. The first German potash syndicate was founded in 1890 in the Leopoldshall salt mining district in the Stassfurt region, where 13 salt mining works were in operation. They had joined forces to regulate mining output relative to market demand and thereby to stabilize profits and sales of salts for manufacturing and agricultural purposes. In 1910 the syndicate headquarters were transferred from Leopoldshall to Berlin.
The syndicate set prices, wages and quotas, and promoted exports. The largest companies in the syndicate were Wintershall AG, Salzdetfurth Aschersleben westeregeln group, Burbach potash works AG and Preussag AG. The "potash Council" was formed, composed of representatives from the potash companies, the importing countries, the consumers, the workers and the German Government. Between 1919 and 1921, all German potash producers were forced by State law to join the syndicate.
Up until the end of World War I, Germany had enjoyed a world-wide monopoly on potash. But through the acquisition of Alsace-Lorraine, France also became a big potash producer. A price war developed, and was not resolved until the spring of 1926 when the Treaty of Lugano and the Franco-German Potash Treaty of Paris were signed. According to the agreement, exports were split 70:30 in favor of Germany, but in 1930 the treaty disintegrated as a result of the Great Depression.
In order to remain profitable, the major salt works were extensively modernized and streamlined. In 1933 the Potash economic law was adopted, joining all potash mine owners into a syndicate.
The potash industry Act of 1933 was then authorized to undertake interventions in the design of the social contract of the syndicate. Still, the German Government had a direct influence on the pricing of potash products, supply contracts, and production quotas of each potash producer. The syndicate under the direction of the Allies was dissolved after World War II. It was succeeded by the German Potash Plants Syndicate.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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Berlin address, 1910-1946.