January 12, 2010 / 4:14 PM / 8 years ago

Fertilizer stocks fall after USDA corn report

* Corn futures tumble following bearish USDA data

* Shares of Potash Corp, Agrium, Mosaic and others fall

TORONTO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Shares of major North American fertilizer companies fell on Tuesday after the U.S. Agriculture Department raised its estimate for 2009 U.S. corn production to a record high, sending grain futures crashing on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The U.S. corn crop was pegged at 13.151 billion bushels, up by 230 million bushels from the government’s last forecast. The figure was also 330 million bushels higher than the average of analysts’ estimates. The USDA also forecast a record 2009 soybean harvest of 3.361 billion bushels.

Corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade fell the daily 30-cent limit in early trade following the bearish data in USDA’s January crop reports, while soybeans and wheat futures also fell sharply.

The falling grain prices hit shares of fertilizer producers, whose shares are typically afffected by major moves in grain prices.

Shares of Potash Corp fell 3.2 percent to C$122.90 in morning trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while those of Agrium were down 1.3 percent at C$70.67.

Shares of Mosaic Co (MOS.N) were down 3.3 percent at $64.14 on the New York Stock Exchange, while those of Terra Industries TRA.N and CF Industries (CF.N) fell 1.5 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Peter Galloway

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