Israel Chemicals Ltd., the country’s potash producer snapped a five-day gain after competitor Mosaic Co. cut its quarterly outlook for potash prices.
Shares of the Dead Sea minerals harvester fell 1 percent to 29.90 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv after earlier gaining as much as 3.5 percent. Israel Corp., which holds a 52 percent stake in Israel Chemicals, declined 0.8 percent to 1,815 shekels. The benchmark TA-25 Index retreated 0.3 percent.
Mosaic Co., North America’s second-largest fertilizer producer, said prices will “remain challenging” into 2014. The estimated average price for its potash will be $285 to $310 a metric ton in the current quarter, down from $342 in the third quarter. OAO Uralkali, the world’s largest potash producer, said on Nov. 1 it 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.
“The prospect of the weakness of prices into 2014 and the issue of oversupply of potash in the market are weighing on the fertilizer’s shares,” Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah Brokerage Ltd. in Ramat Gan, said by phone. “Earlier optimism for stronger potash demand and higher prices were very short-lived.”
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 Tel Aviv-based Israel Chemicals to 31.5 shekels from 25.5 shekels. HSBC yesterday also increased Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. to neutral from underweight.