UPDATE 1-Potash Corp CEO says Uralkali-Belaruskali reunion 'logical'

Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:24am EST
 
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By Rod Nickel

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Potash Corp of Saskatchewan chief executive officer Bill Doyle said on Tuesday it was "logical" to expect potash rivals Uralkali OAO of Russia and Belaruskali to reunite at some point in a move that could bolster the struggling potash industry.

Doyle, speaking at the BMO Capital Markets Global Metals & Mining conference in Hollywood, Florida, said it was unclear when the two potash traders would get back together.

"It would appear to be in their own self-interest," he said. "So I think it's logical to presume that they will at some point in time get back together."

Uralkali quit the Belarusian Potash Company in July 2013 and said it would focus on ramping up sales volume, which accelerated a potash price slide and pressured producer profits. The global potash industry was previously dominated by BPC and a similar North American trading group, Canpotex Ltd, which is owned by Potash Corp, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc.

Shares of Potash Corp, Mosaic and Agrium rose slightly in Tuesday morning trading.

While a reunion of BPC could return some clout to suppliers, there are some signals it isn't imminent.

Belaruskali will step into Uralkali's home turf and supply potash to Russian phosphate and nitrogen fertilizer company Phosagro OAO in 2014, the Russian firm said on Monday.   Continued...