Fertilizer prices not in a 'bubble' – PotashCorp

26 November 2007 02:46  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Global fertilizer prices are not in a bubble but are sustainable, driven by demand for better-diet food on the back of higher incomes in China, India and Brazil and elsewhere, a top executive of Canada's Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PotashCorp) said on Friday.

 

As long as growth in those countries and the demand for a better diet continued, pricing was sustainable, PotashCorp chief financial officer Wayne Brownlee said in a media briefing in Toronto.

 

Brownlee, responding to an analyst's question, denied that PotashCorp was dominating the global fertilizer market.

 

“We don’t control the market but we are a big player in it,” he said.

 

A key advantage for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based PotashCorp over its competitors was its ability to implement relatively inexpensive debottleneckings and expansions, Brownlee said.

 

Overall, the company was investing some $4.5bn (€3.0bn) to expand potash production capacity by about 6m tonnes/year over five years, he added.

 

Commenting on problems at Russian competitor Silvinit, Brownlee said if a crater affecting that company's rail transport became much larger over the winter global supplies would be impacted in the short term.

 

Silvinit accounted for about 8% of the global offshore potash market, he said, adding: “They only have one way to get their product to the market, that’s across that rail line … but to our knowledge that crater has not increased in size.”

 

PotashCorp’s shares closed at $108.08, up 1.8%, on Friday in New York.

 

($1 = €0.67)


By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653



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