Farm Industry News Blog

Fertilizer price wars?

The Twin Cities, MN, is home to major agriculture companies, so our staff, all local, are privy to talk around town about giants like Cargill, Mosaic, CHS, General Mills and Syngenta. Today while I was driving in our first major snowstorm of the season I heard on our local 830 WCCO radio station an interview with John VomHoff Jr., staff reporter for the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal. He was talking about how fertilizer company Mosaic, a spinoff of Cargill, is moving its offices to the trendy Uptown neighbor, hoping to attract employees looking for a vibrant and urban work aesthetic .

The radio host asked VomHoff Jr. to talk about some of the developments at Mosaic, and, specifically, if a price war is looming. Here’s where I pulled off to the side of the road to take some notes.

“Fertilizer isn’t a sexy business, but there are some concerns there because one of Mosaic’s biggest rivals, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan is cutting jobs, 18% of its workforce, shutting a mill and mine,” VomHoff Jr. responded.

He then went on to discuss potash prices falling now as supply is spiking, leading customers to cut back on purchases in hopes of a price drop. “The market has been rallying since this summer, when the Russian-led cartel that helped set prices for the industry collapsed,” he said. “Former members of cartel are engaged in a price war. Everyone is uneasy about that.”

“Mosaic is saying for now that they will monitor market conditions and align their resources to meet short term and long-term demand. “Mosaic has already been making some moves to cut costs,” VomHoff Jr. added. “After its 3rd quarter profit fell, it said it will close mine in Michigan.”

Here’s a link to that interview.

 

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The Farm Industry News Blog features commentary from Willie Vogt, Jodie Wehrspann, Kathy Huting, Lynn Grooms, Daryl Bridenbaugh and Jeff Ryan.

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