UPDATE 1-Belarus signs long-delayed potash deal with China at big discount

Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:43am EDT
 
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(Adds context on potash market, share activity, analyst's comment)

MINSK, July 14 (Reuters) - Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) said on Thursday it had signed an overdue deal with a consortium of Chinese firms to sell potash at $219 per tonne for 2016, a 30 percent drop from last year.

The supply contract came months later than usual, with prices for the crop nutrient hovering around the lowest levels in a decade due to excessive capacity and soft demand. China's price traditionally establishes a global floor, with spot prices in the United States and Brazil set higher.

BPC, the trading division of state-owned miner Belaruskali, added that actual volumes for Sinochem Corp, CNAMPGC and CNOOC Ltd would be decided later. In June, Belarus agreed to sell 700,000 tonnes of potash to Indian Potash Limited at $227 per tonne.

The price is in line with market expectations and positive for potash producers aiming to meet their projections for demand, BMO analyst Joel Jackson said in a note.

In late April, BPC warned that it may export as much as 18 percent less of potash this year, in an interview with Reuters.

The other major potash sellers, Russia's Uralkali and Canada's Canpotex Ltd, typically settle Chinese contracts at the same price as BPC. Canpotex is owned by miners Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc .

Uralkali declined to comment, and Canpotex could not be immediately reached.

Potash Corp shares were up about 2 percent in New York and Toronto. Mosaic also gained 2 percent, a day after idling one of its Canadian mines.

Agrium shares were 2 percent to 3 percent higher in Toronto and New York. (Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Additional reporting by Rod Nickel and Polina Devitt; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov and Jonathan Oatis)