As with gold 6 weeks ago, as with oil 2 days ago, now comes the liquidity chasing one of the few laggard areas... agriculture. Potash (POT) is breaking out in almost identical fashion to the other 2 commodities mentioned.
Last Thursday we saw a story that potash inventories declined for a 3rd consecutive month, although still at 142% above the 5 year average. However, by the time they get closer to average - these stocks most likely will have run a long way.
- Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT) said on Thursday North American potash inventories declined for a third consecutive month, but inventories at the manufacturer level continue to remain well above average.
- Potash inventories had risen steadily through the first-half of 2009, despite major production cuts, as farmers concerned by exorbitant pricing and hurt by the credit crunch had deferred fertilizer application.
- In July, India signed contracts to import the bulk of its annual potash requirements at $460 a tonne, well below last year's contract price of more than $600 and the spot market price of $700 at the time.
- The new Indian contract has brought some international buyers back into the market, but many buyers and distributors still remain on the sidelines and are waiting for Chinese importers to finalize their annual contract, as they believe that potash prices could fall further.
- In a set of graphical data posted to its website, Potash Corp also indicated that potash spot market pricing was almost flat at just under $500 per tonne in September.
With a bevy of bad news in this sector 6+ quarters, sellers may finally be exhausted. Or it simply could be the chase of the underperformers as Ben Bernanke's money looks for the next thing to inflate. Can't tell anymore how much of these moves have to do with actual fundamentals and how much is so much paper currency chasing a fixed amount of stock certificates. Let's keep an eye on what price the Chinese offer for potash; if its favorable, it might set the stage for the next bull run in fertilizer (still among our favorite long term themes). Earnings are Thursday and apparently no one has any fear going into the report since technicals are all that matter in this market.
For momentum based traders thePotash (POT)
breakout is one they love to chase - let's see ifMosaic (MOS)
joins its big brother. A move over $56 is what one would want to see here.