FERTILIZER PRICES SHOW SIGNS OF WEAKENING

Published online: Jul 20, 2009
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A combination of factors may be working to bring the cost of fertilizers down if indicators from last week hold true. On Friday, July 10, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Mosaic Co. both experienced stock price losses in New York trading after RBC Capital Markets said OAO Silvinit probably sold potash to India for less than analysts had expected. The move resulted in stock prices dropping for Mosaic, Potash Corporation and Agrium in New York and Canada.
Another indicator of possible weakening of fertilizer prices is natural gas prices closed Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $3.37 per 1,000 cubic feet, a 73 percent drop from a year ago, when it was well over $12.
According to the Kansas City Star, Ken McCauley, a corn farmer near White Cloud, Kan., for the 2009 growing season locked in much of the fertilizer he needed at $760 a ton, and some farmers paid as much as $1,000 a ton. But he recently bought some for just $400 a ton and locked in prices for next year as low as $380. That means his future fertilizer costs will be $40 an acre, instead of $100.

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