Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., Canada’s largest maker of the fertilizer, fell the most in four years after OAO Uralkali, the world’s largest producer, broke up a cartel that controlled 43 percent of world exports, driving down prices.
Potash Corp. plunged 17 percent to $31.63 in New York, the biggest decline since October 2008. Competing Canadian potash producer Agrium Inc. fell 5.4 percent and Mosaic Co. of the U.S. tumbled 17 percent.
Uralkali pulled out of a joint venture with Belarus, the Berezniki, Russia-based company said in statements. The move may push prices for the soil nutrient used in fertilizer to less than $300 a ton, Uralkali Chief Executive Officer Vladislav Baumgertner told reporters today.
“Uralkali’s announcement completely turns the global market upside down,” Elena Sakhnova, a VTB Capital analyst in Moscow, told Bloomberg by phone. “Now the market will be fully competitive.”
Potash prices have already slumped this year because of stockpiles in China, which imports a fifth of global supplies, and low import volumes in India. Potash Corp. had already cut its 2013 earnings forecast by as much as 20 percent.
The company said last week it sold potash for an average price of $356 a metric ton in the second quarter, compared with $433 a ton a year earlier.