Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) closed at the lowest level in more than four years as the Soviet Union’s two largest potash producers showed little sign of reviving a pact that helped support prices of the nutrient.
The shares of the potash- and fertilizer-manufacturer dropped as much as 3.4 percent and traded down 0.2 percent to 26.41 shekels in Tel Aviv, the lowest since January 2009. The stock fell for an eighth day and is this year’s worst performer in the TA-25 index after slumping 41 percent. That compares with a gain of 1.3 percent for the benchmark index.
Konstantin Yuminov, an analyst at Raiffeisen Bank in Moscow, said he doesn’t expect Belarus’s Belaruskali and OAO Uralkali (URKA) in Russia to be back working together “very soon.” Israel Chemical’s slide this year also follows Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. scrapping a proposed takeover in April and the Israeli government saying in June it will review tax and royalties policies on natural resources. Corn dropped for the second time in three days.
“The negative news continues to flow and that is putting pressure on the shares,” said Ilanit Sherf, an analyst at Psagot Investment House Ltd. in Tel Aviv, who has a hold rating on the shares. Sherf is reviewing the recommendation.
A pact between Belaruskali and Uralkali helped to buttress prices for eight years in the global market for potash, a vital nutrient for corn and soybeans. That partnership fell apart at the end of July when Uralkali accused the other producer of undermining their sales accord and quit a trade venture, forecasting global potash prices may fall about 25 percent as it plans independent shipments.
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