Wednesday, July 30, 2008

U.S potash prices to rise 48%; competition for Arizona resources

Scotiabank reports that the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, the world's largest producer, is raising U.S. dealer prices for ‘granular material' by $250 per short ton on September 1. That will push taking prices from $522 (FOB mine in Saskatchewan) to $772 (US$850.97 per metric tonne), a 48% jump. A year ago Potash Corp potash prices were only $196. Spot prices in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Brazil hit $1025/ton for granular material and are expected to hit $900 at the Port of Vancouver by year end.

Arizona's potash resources are being quietly, but quickly tied up in a mineral rights and land rush in the Holbrook basin [right, Painted Desert; credit NPS] setting up a possible conflict with acquisition of some of those lands for expansion of Petrified Forest National Park. Congress approved adding 129,000 acres to the Park in 2004 but did not appropriate funds for it. At least one large ranch owner put his tract up for sale earlier this year after expressing frustration over the Congressional delay.

Meanwhile, the PFNP sent out a General Management Plan Amendment for Park Addition Lands this week to stakeholders asking for input on how to manage the lands they expect to get.

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