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At Least One Commodity Could Benefit From Coronavirus: Phosphate

At Least One Commodity Could Benefit From Coronavirus: Phosphate
Sergei Semenov | Dreamstime.com

Thursday, 20 February 2020 04:03 PM

There’s at least one commodity that may benefit from China’s outbreak of coronavirus: phosphate.

The outbreak is expected to cause a two million-ton shortfall of the fertilizer ingredient in China as plants curtail production and transport is hindered, said Joc O’Rourke, chief executive officer of of Mosaic Co., the world’s largest producer. Much of the nation’s phosphate production is in Hubei province, the center of the outbreak, and the supply drop is expected to further tighten the market, according to the company.

Mosaic shares gained as much as 4.8% in New York on Thursday, the most in two weeks.

“The expectation is there won’t really be a demand impact, but it will have a supply impact,” Jonas Oxgaard, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said by telephone. “It’s the best of both worlds for U.S. fertilizer companies.”

The tightening phosphate market comes as the worst of the fertilizer downturn may be over. After extreme weather led to poor fertilizer demand last year, U.S. corn plantings are expected to rise to the highest in four years while soybean plantings also rise, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday.

Nutrien Ltd. rose as much as 2.3%, while CF Industries Holdings Inc. gained 3.1%.

“The market is screaming ‘bottom’,” Scotiabank’s Ben Isaacson said in a note Wednesday, noting that Nutrien’s share price rose even after its quarterly earnings and guidance missed consensus.

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There's at least one commodity that may benefit from China's outbreak of coronavirus: phosphate.
commodity, coronavirus, phosphate
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2020-03-20
Thursday, 20 February 2020 04:03 PM
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