After a more than 3% jump in the first half hour following stellar financial results, investors quickly tempered their optimism about the world's largest potash miner and by midday Potash Corp was back in the red. You don't have to look too hard to find reasons for the scepticism.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Mining News
Stock boards were buzzing on Tuesday as traders tried to figure out why Western Potash Corp. was soaring 18.2% without any news about the $200 million firm that would drive the share higher. Despite having nothing to go on, speculators had swapped 2.3m shares by 3pm in Toronto, 1.5 times usual volumes. The junior player in Saskatchewan’s potash industry is in the pre-feasability stage of its 940 million tonne Milestone Project, but some doubt if WPX would be able to muster the finances and logistics to go up against the giants operating in the province.
The Hindu Business Line reports disproportionate price increases of fertilizers are clearly playing out, with sales of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) falling 21.6% and muriate of potash (MOP) plunging 58% during the kharif (monsoon) planting season. The more than 50 million small farmers in India that depend on the soil nutrient have also had to contend with a weak rupee that caused domestic MOP prices to rise by as much as 91%. India imports some 6 million tonnes of potash a year with current pricing around the $500/tonne level. Chinese and Indian consumption drove the potash price from $100/tonne in 2004 to almost $900/tonne in the run up to the 2008 recession when the boom went bust and prices rapidly fell back to $350/tonne.
Global BC reported that Canada’s federal government had documentation to indicate that selling Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) to BHP (NYSE:BHP) could cause the government to lose revenue. The market news is quoted as saying: Premier Brad Wall, who waged a high-profile campaign to block the deal, has estimated the province would lose between $3- to $6-billion in revenue over the course of a decade if PotashCorp were sold.
Shares of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world’s largest fertilizer producer, are down just shy of 8% for the week after losing almost 2% in late trade on Friday despite being upgraded to a buy by analysts at TD Newcrest. Others in the sector fared even worse with newcomer Karnalyte Resources shedding 4.3% while heavyweights Mosaic and Agrium lost over 4.4% and 2.3% respectively after the US Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to eliminate some $6bn in annual subsidies for the country's ethanol industry.
World number one fertilizer company Potash Corp, received a fillip from S&P on Wednesday after the ratings agency upped the company’s rating to stable from negative and reaffirmed its investment grade corporate credit rating of A-. S&P believes Potash Corp. will benefit from strong fundamentals in the potash business and from the fact that its mines are considered low cost and have long reserve lives. Potash Corp, worth some $46bn on the stock market, has attracted renewed interest from investors on the back of rising global food prices, record earnings at the company, and after a hostile takeover bid was scuppered by the Canadian federal government in November last year.
On the same day the premiers of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia toured a potash mine in Penobsquis, NB's mining commissioner began hearing from residents of a nearby town who blame the mine, operated by Potash Corp. for a loss of 60 water wells about six years ago. The mining company initially provided the residents with bottled water, but the provincial government has since installed a municipal water system.
One of the world’s largest potash producers, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PotashCorp) has teamed up with joint venture partners, Redpath and Thyssen Mining in the newly formed Associated Mining Construction (AMC) for the first new potash mine shaft in Saskatchewan to have been built in over forty years - Scissors Creek.
Agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. is spinning off its majority stake in fertilizer producer Mosaic (MOS-N72.47-3.68-4.83%) setting the stage for another potential takeover battle over prized Saskatchewan potash reserves, the Globe and Mail reports.