Mar. 5, 2014, 3:59 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT +3.9%) and other fertilizer makers rally as FT reports the two largest shareholders in Uralkali have endorsed the logic of restarting a partnership with the Belarus potash export cartel, opening the door to a deal that would end the potash war that has roiled the industry.
- No formal negotiations have occurred between the two companies about restarting their partnership, but the subject is said to have been mentioned informally.
- AGU +1.5%, MOS +1.8%, IPI +4.3%.
Mar. 3, 2014, 2:35 PM
- Potash producers are bucking the broader stock market weakness, as they stand to benefit if the Ukrainian crisis leads to economic sanctions against Russia.
- Potash is one of Russia’s important export products, Newedge's Robbert van Batenburg notes: “The erstwhile cartel between Russia and Belarus supplied 43% of total global potash demand... Non-Russian potash supplier[s] may benefit from a potential trade sanctions that could impact Russian potash exports.”
- POT +0.6%, AGU +1%, MOS +0.2%, IPI +0.5%, CF +1.7%.
Feb. 20, 2014, 4:29 PM
Feb. 11, 2014, 5:57 PM
- "We're starting to see some rays of sunlight at the end of this tunnel," Mosaic's (MOS) Jim Prokopanko said in today's earnings conference call, pointing to strengthening global demand for the company's fertilizers and rising prices for some products.
- Phosphate prices have improved since late last year even without much Indian demand, but the world's biggest phosphate importer should buy a lot more in 2014, MOS says; also, the pace of potash shipments has already picked up substantially and looks to carry into Q2.
- Frozen rivers in the U.S. and backlogged railways in western Canada have left MOS behind on its shipping commitments, but could push up fertilizer prices, the CEO adds.
Feb. 11, 2014, 8:22 AM
- Mosaic (MOS) +0.8% premarket after reporting a 79% drop in Q4 earnings as prices of crop nutrients potash and phosphate fell sharply.
- Says it will buy back $1B of its shares on top of a $2B repurchase program announced in December.
- Q4 potash sales totaled 1.9M metric tons, at the high end of expectations; average selling price was $303/metric ton, near the top of $285-$310 guidance, and production reached 65% of capacity, slightly higher than anticipated.
- Q4 phosphate sales totaled 3.4M metric tons, above the forecast of 2.5M-2.9M; average realized price was $381/metric ton, at the lower end of $370-$400 guidance.
- Q1 2014 potash sales are seen at 2.3M-2.7M metric tons vs. 2M in the year-ago quarter, with the average sales price expected at $245-$275; phosphate sales are seen at 2.3M-2.6M metric tons vs. 2.7M a year ago, with an average selling price of $390-$400.
Feb. 11, 2014, 7:02 AM
Feb. 11, 2014, 12:05 AM
Feb. 10, 2014, 5:30 PM
Feb. 10, 2014, 10:49 AM
- Higher natural gas prices will have an outsized negative impact on Agrium (AGU) and Methanex (MEOH), CIBC says, explaining that the rising prices will squeeze margins for plants that do not have long-term gas contracts.
- Every $1/MMBtu increase in gas prices negatively impacts methanol margins by $38/metric ton, the firm says, adding that ~15% of AGU's and 22% of MEOH's gross profit could be hit by higher gas prices over the long term.
- Mosaic (MOS) and Potash (POT) are less impacted, according to CIBC.
Jan. 30, 2014, 8:22 AM
- Potash (POT) -4.3% premarket after posting a 45% drop in Q4 earnings and issuing weaker than expected earnings guidance for 2014 on expectations for continued pricing pressure.
- Gross margins fell as lower prices for all three fertilizer nutrients - potash, nitrogen and phosphate - outweighed improved costs and higher sales volumes.
- In its downside guidance, POT sees Q1 EPS of $0.30-$0.35 vs. $0.46 analyst consensus, and sees FY 2014 EPS of $1.40-$1.80 vs. $2.01 consensus.
- Q4 potash sales volumes rose 13%, largely fueled by North American activity, but average potash prices fell to $282/metric ton in the quarter from $387 a year earlier; while POT near-term pressure on potash prices appears to have subsided, "its impact is expected to suppress our offshore realizations through the early part of 2014."
- Among peers: MOS -1.2%, IPI -2.1% premarket.
Jan. 27, 2014, 3:57 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT +0.9%) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with a $37 price target from $30 at Raymond James, which thinks dark clouds over potash are beginning to lift and sees the recent pullback is a long-term opportunity.
- Uralkali and Canpotex agreements with China are seen as a "new global floor price," and recent events suggest Uralkali and Belaruskali may be interested in repairing their relationship, the firm says.
- Over the weekend, Canpotex - the offshore marketing company for potash producers POT, Mosaic (MOS -1.5%) and Agrium (AGU -1%) - said it reached a deal to supply 700K metric tons of potash to China in H1 2014.
Jan. 22, 2014, 3:25 PM
- In suggesting investors shouldn't mistake a potash price floor for a long-term recovery, Goldman’s Adam Samuelson raises his price target for Potash (POT -1.2%) while downgrading peer Mosaic (MOS -1.3%) to Sell and maintaining a Sell rating for Intrepid Potash (IPI -1.2%).
- The firm keeps POT at Neutral thanks to greater valuation support at POT given its 4.1% dividend yield, which it sees as sustainable given its pricing/cash flow forecasts; a more favorable cost outlook following recent headcount reductions, which should help the company improve utilization at lower-cost facilities; and earnings ballast from a less negative near-term outlook.
- The firm's new $32 price target for POT, up from $24, still implies 5% downside, and its core industry view is that both companies will be significantly impacted.
Jan. 22, 2014, 7:44 AM
- Mosaic (MOS) is downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which maintains a cautious coverage view on fertilizer stocks underpinned by a negative outlook for corn and soybean prices over the next 12 months that will pressure farmer economics and 2015 acreage potential.
- With MOS discounting $360-$370/metric ton potash prices in 2015, and down only 8% from the break-up of Belaruskali in late July, the firm believes shares already reflect an overly optimistic medium-term price recovery.
- MOS -0.8% premarket.
Jan. 21, 2014, 10:20 AM
- Uralkali (URALL) yesterday reached a potash sales deal with China for $305/metric ton, indicating a possible end to the uncertainty in the potash market after prices fell more than 25% from $400/ton last summer when the Russian producer left a trading partnership with Belarus and broke an informal global pricing cartel.
- While J.P. Morgan seems to see a return to price rationality, others aren't so sure; Morgan Stanley is looking ahead to H2, when demand is weak and there's incentive to price undercut again, while Cowen thinks the new contract is likely to keep pricing down for some time to come and, combined with Agrium's (AGU -0.1%) downward guidance, may weigh on fertilizer shares.
- Wunderlich notes Intrepid Potash (IPI -0.6%) sells granulated potash, which is priced at a 10%-15% premium to standard; at $335/ton potash, the firm figures IPI could see a ~$165M swing in free cash flow in 2014 from a negative $115M last year to a positive $50M-$55M in 2014.
- Also: POT -1.3%, MOS -0.5%.
Jan. 15, 2014, 3:15 PM
- Uralkali (URALL +9.7%) shares jump the most in four months on speculation that it may raise its prices for Brazil and China.
- Uralkali is signaling that Brazilian buyers will have to pay $350-$360/ton on a cost-and-freight basis for granular potash for March volumes compared to the current $320/ton, J.P. Morgan analysts say.
- Rumors also indicate Uralkali will sign its contract with China for the first half of the season soon at a possible price of $300/ton, which could set a price floor, according to Renaissance Capital.
- Following up sharp gains yesterday, POT +3.4%, MOS +3.2%, AGU +1.4%, ISCHY +2.7%, SQM +6.8%, KPLUY +3.3%, IPI +3% today.
Jan. 6, 2014, 12:35 PM
- The Obama administration is considering measures to toughen rules on fertilizer plants, farmers and oil drillers using or storing explosive chemicals such as those tied to a fatal blast in rural Texas last year, Bloomberg reports.
- Among policies being considered: lowering the threshold at which the government would be notified that ammonium nitrate is being used or stored; requiring farmers and oil drillers to report on explosive chemicals they possess; and adding chemicals to the hazardous substances lists.
- Related stocks: POT, CF, TNH, MOS, IPI, AGU, MON, BG, SQM.
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