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Potash Stocks Rise on Report Russia Seeks Cooperation

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Mosaic Co. were among fertilizer makers that rose after Dow Jones reported Russia is pushing for OAO Uralkali to resume cooperation on potash sales with its Belarussian rival.

Potash Corp. climbed 3.2 percent to C$33.92 at the close in Toronto, the biggest gain since Sept. 10. Mosaic was up 3.7 percent in New York and Agrium Inc. rose 1.4 percent.

Russia has told bidders for Suleiman Kerimov’s 22 percent stake in Uralkali they should repair a rift with Belarus that led to the end of a joint venture controlling 40 percent of global potash exports, Dow Jones reported today, citing unidentified people close to the discussions. The Uralkali stake will probably be sold to a local investor, Dow Jones reported.

Producers including Potash Corp. plunged on July 30 after Uralkali, the world’s largest potash maker, exited the trading venture and said it would boost output of the crop nutrient. The $20 billion potash market was “paralyzed” by Uralkali’s move, Potash Corp. Chief Financial Officer Wayne Brownlee said Sept. 18.

Uralkali Chief Executive Officer Vladislav Baumgertner was arrested in Minsk after meeting with the Belarussian prime minister.

Potash prices have declined since Uralkali exited its venture with Belarus, Peter Prattas, a Toronto-based analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald LP, said in a phone interview today. A resumption of the relationship would be positive for North American producers.

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