Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Holy Crap: Russia pulls out of cartel, potash prices expected to plunge (AGU; POT; MOS; GLEN)

In late pre-market trade Agrium is down 8.67% at $83.50, Mosaic is Down 24.07% at $40.36 while Potash corp is down 23.01% at $29.18. A year ago Glencore was able to overpay for potash producer Viterra.

We haven't talked about any of the fert companies since the grains started weakening a year ago, nor any other inputs (Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont etc.).
This move might be offering a generational opportunity, more to come.

First up, Canada's Globe and Mail:
The landscape of the world’s fertilizer industry is about to change as Russia’s Uralkali is dismantling one of the world’s largest potash partnerships by leaving a venture with a partner in Belarus.

Shares in North American producers of potash plunged in premarket trading on news of an anticipated steep fall in global prices of the fertilizer ingredient.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. stock in U.S. trading was down almost 24 per cent, while shares in Mosaic Co. and Agrium Inc. were off more than 23 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.

Investors are reacting to the decision by Russia’s Uralkali to pull out of one the world’s major potash cartels, the Belarus Potash Company (BPC).

Uralkali said it expects the move will result in the fall of global prices by 25 per cent.
BPC – a partnership between Uralkali and Belaruskali – will be broken up, leaving North America’s Canpotex as the dominant global potash export partnership; Canpotex includes Potash Corp., Agrium and Mosaic....MORE
And from Reuters:
Russia's Uralkali quits top potash cartel, sees global price fall
* Uralkali pulls out of Belarus venture after "deadlock"
* Leaves Canpotex as world's top potash exporter
* Expects prices to fall to $300 a tonne from $400 a tonne
* Uralkali's shares plunge 15 pct

By Polina Devitt and Natalia Shurmina

MOSCOW, July 30 (Reuters) - Russia's Uralkali has dismantled one of the world's largest potash partnerships by pulling out of a venture with its partner in Belarus, a move it expects will cause global prices to plunge by 25 percent.

The break-up of the Belarus Potash Company (BPC) leaves North America's Canpotex as the ruling potash export venture. BPC and Canpotex had accounted for 70 percent of global trade in potash, an important ingredient for fertilizer, and the duopoly had set identical prices in key markets such as China and India.
Uralkali said it was pulling out after reaching "deadlock" over sales and would export all potash via its Swiss-based Uralkali Trading.

The decision may lead to a fall in the global potash price to below $300 per tonne in the second half of 2013, from the current $400 per tonne, it said. Lower fertilizer prices could result in rising demand from price-sensitive farmers in Asia....MORE