Mosaic Seeks Higher Potash Price From China

Mosaic Co. Chief Executive Officer Jim Prokopanko said he’s pushing for higher potash prices from China, the world’s largest user of the crop nutrient, after a decline in inventories.

Canpotex Ltd., the export company jointly owned by Plymouth, Minnesota-based Mosaic, Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., is in talks for a new supply agreement with China, Prokopanko said. The previous pact, for sales at $400 a metric ton, expired at the end of June.

Mosaic’s potash stockpiles have fallen, inventories also declined in importing countries and post-harvest demand from U.S. and Canadian farmers will be “very good,” he said today in an interview.

“We’ve asked for a higher price,” he said. “We’ve got a request on the table. I’m not throwing in the towel.”

Mosaic is pushing for higher prices in China even as it forecasts the average price its gets for its potash in the current quarter will decline sequentially.

The company, which got 60 percent of its revenue from outside North America last year, sees an average selling price of $330 to $360 a ton in the third quarter, down from $368 in the second, it said today in its latest earnings statement.

Mosaic, which also produces phosphate-based crop nutrients, expects to see “some sort of closure” on a potash contract with China in the current quarter, Richard McLellan, the company’s senior vice president of commercial, said today on a conference call.

Mosaic fell 3.6 percent to $54.12 in New York, the biggest decline since Feb. 20.

Potash is used by farmers to boost crop resistance to drought and strengthen plant root systems.

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