17 July 2012 19:32 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--Fearful of being caught holding high-priced inventory in an environment of falling wholesale prices, US fertilizer dealers are not maintaining on-site stockpiles, a top industry executive said on Tuesday.
"Dealers were shaken in 2008 when fertilizer prices went through the roof, leaving many of them with high-priced material they could not sell in a timely manner," said Mark Palmquist, executive vice president of CHS Agribusiness Group.
"In the last three years or so, there has been dramatic shift downward in the fertilizer inventories held on site by dealers," he said at the Southwestern Fertilizer Conference in San Antonio.
Minnesota-based CHS Agribusiness Group is North America's largest farmer-owned cooperative with more than 68,000 members.
Palmquist noted that as of Monday, the US corn crop was in the poorest condition of any crop since 1988.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 78% of the 96.2m acre (39m hectare) corn crop is in some level of drought, with the worst conditions in the states of Illinois and Indiana.
The USDA said that only 31% of the corn in the US is rated as good or better.
The poor performance of the US crop will put more importance on good crops this winter in Brazil and Argentina to help meet world demand.
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