Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) rose to the highest in three weeks on optimism the Israeli potash producer will benefit from global demand for the soil nutrient.
Shares of the Dead Sea minerals harvester advanced for a sixth day, the longest winning streak in more than three years, increasing 1.7 percent to 30.70 shekels at 2:10 p.m. in Tel Aviv. Israel Corp. (ILCO), which holds a 52 percent stake in Israel Chemicals, gained 2.3 percent to 1,872 shekels. The TA-25 benchmark gauge rose 0.1 percent.
OAO Uralkali (URKA), the world’s largest potash producer, expects global potash demand to climb to the highest in at least a decade next year as a decline in prices ends a slowdown in sales. Prices have retreated since the start of 2012 and fell to about $320 a ton in September, the lowest in about three years. HSBC Holdings Plc yesterday raised the share-price estimate for the Tel Aviv-based company to 31.5 shekels from 25.5 shekels.
“Optimism for stronger potash demand and higher prices next year is the main driver behind the gains,” said Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah Brokerage Ltd. in Ramat Gan. “We see this optimism as short-lived as long as there is oversupply of potash in the market.”
HSBC yesterday also increased Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. to neutral from underweight, saying phosphate is preferred among nutrients and adding that potash risk still remains, though the worst of the crisis may be over.
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