Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
NVIDIA (NVDA) GPU King For AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 17th Feb 20
Stock Market Bubble - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 17th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend Forecast 2020 - 16th Feb 20
SAMSUNG AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 16th Feb 20
Ignore the Polls, the Markets Have Already Told You Who Wins in 2020 - 16th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic WARNING! Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham Outbreaks Probable - 16th Feb 20
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 15th Feb 20
Gold Stocks Still Stalled - 15th Feb 20
Is The Technology Stocks Sector Setting Up For A Crash? - 15th Feb 20
UK Calm Before Corona Virus Storm - Infections Forecast into End March 2020 - 15th Feb 20
The Growing Weaponization of Space - 14th Feb 20
Will the 2020s Be Good or Bad for the Gold Market? - 14th Feb 20
Predictive Modeling Suggests Gold Price Will Break Above $1650 Within 15~30 Days - 14th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Infections and Deaths Trend Forecast 2020 - 14th Feb 20
Coronavirus, Powell and Gold - 14th Feb 20
How the Corona Virus is Affecting Global Stock Markets - 14th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend and Elliott Wave Analysis - 13th Feb 20
Owning and Driving a Land Rover Discovery Sport in 2020 - 2 YEAR Review - 13th Feb 20
Shipping Rates Plunge, Commodities and Stocks May Follow - 13th Feb 20
Powell says Fed will aggressively use QE to fight next recession - 13th Feb 20
PALLADIUM - THIS Is What a Run on the Bank for Precious Metals Looks Like… - 13th Feb 20
Bitcoin: "Is it too late to get in?" Get Answers Now - 13th Feb 20
China Coronavirus Infections Soar by 1/3rd to 60,000, Deaths Jump to 1,367 - 13th Feb 20
Crude Oil Price Action – Like a Coiled Spring Already? - 13th Feb 20
China Under Reporting Coronavirus COVID-19 Infections, Africa and South America Hidden Outbreaks - 12th Feb 20
Will USD X Decline About to Trigger Precious Metals Rally - 12th Feb 20
Copper Market is a Coiled Spring - 12th Feb 20
Dow Theory Stock Market Warning from the Utilities Index - 12th Feb 20
How to Get Virgin Media Engineers to FIX Hub 3.0 Problems and NOT BS Customers - 12th Feb 20
China Under Reporting Coronavirus COVID-19 Infections by 66% Due to Capacity Constraints - 12th Feb 20
Is Coronavirus the Black Swan That Takes Gold To-Da-Moon? - 12th Feb 20
Stock Market 2020 – A Close Look At What To Expect - 12th Feb 20
IBM AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 11th Feb 20
The US Dollar’s Subtle Message for Gold - 11th Feb 20
What All To Do Before Opening A Bank Account For Your Business - 11th Feb 20
How and When to Enter Day Trades & Swing Trade For Maximum Gains - 11th Feb 20
The Great Stock Market Dichotomy - 11th Feb 20
Stock Market Sector Rotation Should Peak Within 60+ Days – Part II - 11th Feb 20
CoronaVirus Pandemic Stocks Bear Market Risk 2020? - Video - 11th Feb 20
Facebook (FB) AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 10th Feb 20
The US Constitution IS the Crisis - 10th Feb 20
Stock Market Correction Continues - 10th Feb 20
Useful Tips for Becoming a Better Man - 10th Feb 20
Will CoronaVirus Pandemic Trigger a Stocks Bear Market 2020? Part1 - 9th Feb 20
Could Silver Break-out like it did in 2011? - 9th Feb 20
The End of the Global Economy - 9th Feb 20
Fed to Stimulate in Any Crisis; Don’t Let Short-Term Events Bother You - 9th Feb 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

Potash Producers Benefit from Fertilizer Demand

Commodities / Agricultural Commodities Jun 24, 2011 - 05:27 AM GMT

By: The_Energy_Report

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleDomestic demand for fertilizer is good news for small, U.S. potash producers. In this exclusive interview with The Energy Report, Weiss Research Natural Resources Analyst Sean Brodrick explains the international market forces behind agriculture-related stocks and points to the companies that could benefit in the long term.

Companies Mentioned: Intrepid Potash, Inc. Passport Potash Inc.

The Energy Report: I understand you're not really bullish on energy these days. Can you give me a brief synopsis as to why?

Sean Brodrick: I'm concerned about the perception of a slowdown in the global economy. With so much free money floating around the market, the psychology becomes so much more important. And, right now, people are really worried about a slowdown in the global economy. They're starting to pull back and retrench.

Recently, we saw a rally in the market that could go on for a while because things have gotten so oversold to the downside. But the fundamentals haven't changed. We are seeing fewer government financial injections, thus taking away the punch bowl. That weighs on energy stocks and a recovery generally. Also, we're seeing worrisome news out of China. The country is still using a lot of energy—more each year. But, the demand for copper is falling off quite a bit. In fact, the most recent numbers I saw said that last month we saw Chinese copper demand drop off 47% year-over-year. May was down 6% from April, which was another down month. Copper is often an indicator of the global economy. Now, the Chinese just might be messing with us as they often do because they like to manipulate the market to get cheaper prices, but it also could indicate a global slowdown. If that is the case, then energy prices usually follow. So, we could see lower energy prices for some time.

You and I know that these energy companies make fantastic money even when oil is over $85/barrel. They make great money. But, again, it's the perception, the psychology. People worry about quarter-over-quarter comparisons. They tend to punish stocks—perhaps a little unjustly, but they punish them anyway. So, we could see more downside in the broad energy sector.

TER: However, I understand you are very bullish on the potash market these days. Why is that?

SB: Short-term perceptions and worries about a global slowdown aside, the long-term reality is that we have 70 million people in China who are joining the middle class every year. We have millions more in places like India and Malaysia. All these people want to eat and live like big, fat Americans. So, the agricultural producers of those regions are hard-pressed to keep up with that demand. In fact, global consumption of things like grains, nuts and seeds—everything except meat—has gone up 2.5 times since 1970 and it keeps accelerating. This is driving the demand for potash, which has gone up something like 5.6% for the last three years in a row. It doesn't seem like it's really going to slow down. Now, if we saw a major downturn in the global economy, we would have to worry about that. But until we do, we're going to see increasing global potash demand because farmers need it to increase their yields. The green revolution sent agriculture yields much, much higher. Now you have to put in a lot more fertilizer just to get incrementally larger yields. The only way you’re going to get those grain yields is by using potash.

Only 12 countries actually produce potash. Canada, Russia, Bellerose and Germany account for more than 75% of the global supply. And only eight companies control 80% the world's potash production. Do you see how this could lead to a price squeeze? China will probably try to lock in potash supply going forward because of its need to feed its people. As China starts hoarding international potash supplies, we will have to look for domestic sources. That is good news for new, small potash producers in the U.S, which is already an agricultural powerhouse. We are to grain what OPEC is to oil. Increased U.S. demand for potash could certainly make a difference in the share prices of these small companies as long as they can continue to go into production and/or increase production.

TER: The U.S. gets most of its potash from Canada today, correct? What are the small players in the U.S. you like right now? Can they completely fill the domestic potash demand? Where do you see that market going?

SB: Right. Well, I like Intrepid Potash Inc. (NYSE:IPI) in New Mexico. This company seems to be doing things right. This is an example of a stock being punished unjustly. It has been brought down with the rest of the broad market. The correction in the broad stock indexes compressed the price of Intrepid Potash even as the company increased production.

Another one I like is Passport Potash Inc. (TSX.V:PPI, OTCQX:PPRTF), which you and I visited. It is a developer in Arizona with a great project near the American heartland. The company is doing more drilling, moving it along. I think the dominos are lining up. Passport is moving down the path to production of a million tons a year. This company is in a good position to do pretty well, but it has to get into production first.

TER: Passport Potash announced some initial drill results recently.

SB: Yes, they did and boy, they were good. Preliminary results from two core holes showed significant potash deposits at relatively shallow depths. The company intersected 9.5 feet of 12.29% KCL. Some parts were actually richer. More results should be coming in over the summer. As they report those, maybe the market will take a second look. Because of the risk of not being in production yet, Passport has really been punished along with the broader market. But the payoff could be much higher, especially if the company attracts the attention of one of the big boys, which I believe is going to happen down the road. Then I think Passport could do very well. We could see this thing jump quite nicely. Remember, Passport won't be ripping up a huge hole in the desert with big trucks. This is planned as an in-situ leaching project. Passport will pump solution in one side of the field through the potash deposit and filter it out the other side. So, you don't move a lot of dirt. That makes it easier to get environmental approvals.

TER: There has been some talk about the possible end of the ethanol subsidy affecting the broader fertilizer industry in the U.S. Do you think that is significant?

SB: It is significant in that it affects market psychology. The market mentality impacts all kinds of stocks. There was some action in the corn markets that you would not believe. However, let's face it, 2012 is an election year. Do you want to be the political party that takes away the ethanol subsidy when you're going into the Iowa caucuses? You could argue about whether subsidies are a good thing or not, but I just don't think it's politically feasible to take it away. I don't think it's actually going to happen. It's all politics in ethanol.

TER: I hear even Al Gore is now saying that it was a mistake to suggest that ethanol could be a significant alternative energy source.

SB: Right. But that subsidy is probably not going away. It looks like an easy target, but when you take political considerations into account, and you have to, then it's not a target you're going to hit. Ethanol subsidies will be in place at least through the 2012 elections.

TER: Thank you very much Sean.

SB: Sure.

A natural resources analyst for Weiss Research, Inc., Sean Brodrick travels far and wide seeking out investment values, primarily among the small-cap and micro-cap players. He edits Weiss Research's Crisis Profit Hunter and Red-Hot Global Resources, as well as making regular contributions to Uncommon Wisdom Daily. He is also a contributing columnist to Dow Jones MarketWatch and a frequent commentator on one of Canada's premiere financial websites, HoweStreet.com. Sean's expertise has led to many financial talk show appearances, including CNBC Squawk Box, Fox Business, CNN, The Glenn Beck Program, Your World with Neil Cavuto and Bloomberg Market Line. He is the author of The Ultimate Suburban Survivalist Guide, a guide to surviving the ever-changing economic landscape from stock market shakeups to oil and currency crises to natural disasters. A graduate of the University of Maine, Sean has more than 25 years experience as a professional journalist and financial analyst, including a stint as investment director of the Sovereign Society—the world's leading publisher of offshore asset protection strategies and global investment opportunities.


Want to read more exclusive Energy Report interviews like this? Sign up for our free e-newsletter, and you'll learn when new articles have been published. To see a list of recent interviews with industry analysts and commentators, visit our Expert Insights page.
DISCLOSURE:
1) Brian Sylvester and Karen Roche of The Energy Report conducted this interview. They personally and/or their families own shares of the companies mentioned in this interview: None.
2) The following companies mentioned in the interview are sponsors of The Energy Report: None.
3) Greg Gordon: See Morgan Stanley disclosure that follows.*

*The information and opinions in Morgan Stanley Research were prepared by Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, and/or Morgan Stanley C.T.V.M. S.A. As used in this disclosure section, "Morgan Stanley" includes Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, Morgan Stanley C.T.V.M. S.A. and their affiliates as necessary.

For important disclosures, stock price charts and equity rating histories regarding companies that are the subject of this report, please see the Morgan Stanley Research Disclosure Website at www.morganstanley.com/researchdisclosures, or contact your investment representative or Morgan Stanley Research at 1585 Broadway, (Attention: Research Management), New York, NY, 10036 USA.

The ENERGY Report is Copyright © 2011 by Streetwise Inc. All rights are reserved. Streetwise Inc. hereby grants an unrestricted license to use or disseminate this copyrighted material only in whole (and always including this disclaimer), but never in part. The ENERGY Report does not render investment advice and does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company mentioned in this report. From time to time, Streetwise Inc. directors, officers, employees or members of their families, as well as persons interviewed for articles on the site, may have a long or short position in securities mentioned and may make purchases and/or sales of those securities in the open market or otherwise.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules