Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 

MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Toronto Stock Exchange  >  Nutrien Ltd.    NTR   CA67077M1086


SummaryMost relevantAll NewsPress ReleasesOfficial PublicationsSector newsAnalyst Recommendations

Strike in Belarus by Potash Miners Pressures President, Clouds Commodity Market

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
08/17/2020 | 01:56pm EDT

By Alistair MacDonald

Workers at the world's largest miner of potash are joining widespread protests against Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, intensifying pressure on the embattled leader and threatening to disturb the market for a key fertilizer.

JSC Belaruskali controls up to 20% of the global supply in potash, meaning any extended strike action or disruption at the company could impact prices of a commodity widely used by farmers to help plants grow. The state-owned mining company is also a pillar of Belarus's economy and a major source of taxes and foreign currency, making it important for Mr. Lukashenko.

On Monday, a person familiar with the matter, as well as local and Russian state-owned media, said that some miners at Belaruskali had joined the protests and strikes that have erupted after the country's Aug. 9 election, whose results are disputed after Mr. Lukashenko claimed 80% of the vote.

"That might be the killer blow for Lukashenko," said Tim Ash, emerging-market strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, referring to the economic significance of Belaruskali.

It isn't yet clear whether the company's potash production has been affected so far. Representatives of Belaruskali couldn't immediately be contacted for comment.

On Friday, the company that markets Belaruskali's potash issued a statement on behalf of the miners, calling for an immediate end to violence committed against protesters.

"We can't remain indifferent to what is happening now," the statement from Belarussian Potash Co. said. "Violence is never justified."

Scotiabank estimates that a two-week strike at Belaruskali would reduce quarterly global potash production by 3.5%.

Because potash is mostly sold in long-term contracts, rather than in a spot market like most other commodities, it is difficult to see an immediate impact on its price.

However, the share prices of large potash producers have increased since the disputed election in Belarus, with Canada-based Nutrien Ltd up around 7% and Israel's ICL Ltd. up about 5%.

Changes in the price of potash could have a big impact on farmers. For instance, a 25% drop in potash prices can save the average U.S. corn farmer about $10 an acre in production costs, which would cut total costs by 3% from around $330 an acre for many producers, St. Louis-based NPK Fertilizer Advisory Service has previously calculated.

Fertilizers make up an even bigger percentage of farmers' costs in developing markets.

Still, price fallout from the situation in Belarus could be limited by the fact that the potash market has been oversupplied for years, analysts said.

For a decade through 2009, the price of potash increased by around five times on the expectation that demand would soar as populations grew and diets improved in emerging markets like China and India. But that demand boost failed to materialize, while mine capacity grew to meet the expected rise. Potash currently trades at between $220 and $275 a metric ton, depending on the sales contract, around a quarter of its peak of $860 in early 2009.

The market is dominated by a few big players, including Belaruskali, Nutrien and Russia's Uralkali JSC.

Belaruskali, which runs six mines, produced 1.14 million metric tons of potash in July, a record for monthly output.

The company's massive Soligorsk mine operates at 2,000 feet below ground, where workers drill at the seams of pinkish rock. Potash is a compound of potassium, which, along with nitrogen and phosphorous, is essential for plant life. It strengthens plants and makes them more resistant to disease.

--Georgi Kantchev and Anna Isaac contributed to this article.

Write to Alistair MacDonald at alistair.macdonald@wsj.com


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -0.42% 416 End-of-day quote.7.74%
GOLD 0.16% 1908.39 Delayed Quote.25.38%
ICL GROUP LTD -2.52% 1239 Delayed Quote.-23.08%
NUTRIEN LTD. -0.99% 53.2 Delayed Quote.-14.43%
SILVER 0.40% 24.416 Delayed Quote.36.26%
SYNEOS HEALTH, INC. -3.50% 55.92 Delayed Quote.-5.98%
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
All news about NUTRIEN LTD.
10/16NUTRIEN : Announces Release Dates for Third Quarter 2020 Results and Conference ..
10/15NUTRIEN : Announces Release Dates for Third Quarter 2020 Results and Conference ..
10/14NUTRIEN : to Host Investor Day on November 30, 2020
10/13NUTRIEN : to Host Investor Day on November 30, 2020
09/23CAPITAL POWER : Jobs for Alberta, innovative tech for the world
08/17Strike in Belarus by Potash Miners Pressures President, Clouds Commodity Mark..
08/11NUTRIEN : North American ammonium nitrate laws best in world, Nutrien CEO says
08/10NUTRIEN : cuts 2020 adjusted profit forecast on weak ammonia prices
08/10NUTRIEN : cuts 2020 adjusted profit forecast on weak ammonia prices
08/10NUTRIEN : 2Q Earnings Snapshot
More news
Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 19 531 M - -
Net income 2020 923 M - -
Net Debt 2020 9 389 M - -
P/E ratio 2020 24,9x
Yield 2020 4,46%
Capitalization 22 951 M 23 020 M -
EV / Sales 2020 1,66x
EV / Sales 2021 1,58x
Nbr of Employees 22 300
Free-Float 99,2%
Duration : Period :
Nutrien Ltd. Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends NUTRIEN LTD.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 24
Average target price 48,70 $
Last Close Price 40,33 $
Spread / Highest target 53,5%
Spread / Average Target 20,8%
Spread / Lowest Target 1,67%
EPS Revisions
Charles V. Magro President, CEO & Non-Independent Director
Mayo M. Schmidt Chairman
Pedro Farah Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Brent D. Poohkay Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
Christopher M. Burley Independent Director
Sector and Competitors