Potash and fertilizer stocks found their shares murdered over the summer after Russian potash producer OAO Uralkali announced that it was ending its marketing ventures in a cartel agreement. Now it appears that at least some of the decision is being reverse, or at least that it could be reversed.
A report came out of Dow Jones showing that Uralkali would consider any proposition that would create a new selling partnership with Belarus or another producing partner. This report is one which we would say is going to be very difficult to confirm or refute. What is not hard to refute is that potash and fertilizer stocks are rallying in appreciation mode.
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Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT) was up 25 at $33.12 in Monday afternoon trading. Monday's gain puts shares up within striking distance of its breakout point from the aftermath this summer that took shares from $38 to $31 and ultimately back under $30 before recovering.
Gains are being seen elsewhere as well, except in shares of The Mosaic Company (MOS). Agrium Inc. (AGU) was up almost 3% at $91.95 in late Monday trading, although this one held up much better in the destructive news phase when the alarming news roiled these stocks. The big winner is Intrepid Potash, Inc. (IPI), with a gain of 7% to $16.20 in late-Monday trading.
It was back in July when Uralkali ended its marketing venture with Belarus. It was almost entirely unexpected by US investors in these companies. Even the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (NYSE MKT: MOO) is trading higher with the ETF's shares up 1.4% at $52.30 in late-Monday trading.
In all honesty, the move in July and August was literally shocking. Then the news became even stranger with a corporate arrest reported. Maybe there is simply just too much money to walk away from.