It’s been a nice day for both potash producers and agricultural exchange traded funds (ETFs).
A Goldman Sachs analyst said prices for the fertilizer are rising as a result of global demand and limited availability, since few countries produce it, reports the Associated Press. Farmers want to maximize their yield and profit, and the analyst says it’s all pointing to positive fundamentals. In North America, prices have shot up 45.9% year-to-date.
The top potash-producing countries are Canada (32%), Russia (31%) and western Europe (19%).
The strongest consumers of potash are the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), which account for 43% of the global potash market, and demand is growing at 5% per year. Prices could double over the next two to three years as food demand increases, too, reports Theresa Tang for Bloomberg.
Potash is an impure form of potassium carbonate, and has been used since the 1300s in the manufacture of glass and soap, and as a fertilizer. Fertilizers that contain it improve crop yield by assisting plants in absorbing nitrogen and using water and sunlight more efficiently. It also helps plants fight insects and disease.
Market Vectors Global Agribusiness (MOO) traded higher today, based largely on the analyst’s forecast, as the fund’s top two holdings are potash companies: Mosaic is 8.1%, while Potash Corp. is 8.4%. MOO is down 2.1% year-to-date.