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all the stars have aligned for fertilizer prod

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    Potash rides wave of demand as food prices surge
    Reuters, Toronto, Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:18pm

    All the stars have aligned for fertilizer producers


    Potash Corp its outlook for the coming year was even brighter, as record-high world food prices fuel a surge in demand for its fertilizer products�.
    The robust outlook, combined with the stock split and increased payout, demonstrate the confidence the world's top fertilizer producer has in the market's long-term strength, based on the view that food price inflation will persist, analysts said.

    "All the stars have aligned for fertilizer producers," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial, which owns about 40,000 Potash Corp shares.

    Demand for fertilizers is the strongest in years as farmers rush to maximize yields after a surge in grain prices last year.

    Earlier this month, the United Nations food agency said food prices had risen to record highs in December and that some grains could climb even further.
    The price of corn alone has more than doubled over the last six months, while wheat, soybeans and other crops have also risen sharply.

    While adverse weather patterns triggered the latest spurt, the jump also aggravated longer-term concerns about global food security as emerging economies compete for limited agricultural resources.

    "I think you are looking at multiple years here of higher grain prices and higher ag commodity prices around the world," said Potash Corp Chief Executive Bill Doyle in an interview with Reuters.
    Shares of Potash Corp topped a 28-month high of $174.31 in New York Thursday.

    The stock-price gain, which Doyle had predicted during the takeover battle, reflects the bullish outlook for agricultural inputs in general and fertilizers in particular.

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