* BPC revives move to raise potash prices -FMB
* Move coincides with industry consolidation drive
* Aims to raise prices on standard and granular grades
(All figures in U.S. dollars, unless noted)
By Euan Rocha
TORONTO, Aug 31 BPC, the export arm of Uralkali
and Belaruskali, is again pushing for higher prices, hoping a
strong outlook for grain prices will persuade farmers to accept
an increase this time.
The move, which follows a failed effort to establish higher
prices earlier this year, coincides with M&A activity that
could lead to a power shift within the industry.
Uralkali is setting up links with its Russian rival
Silvinit that could eventually bring about a full merger. At
the same time Potash Corp, the world's biggest supplier, is the
target of a hostile takeover bid by BHP Billiton, a global
"Given where grain prices are right now, there is probably
more chance of this one being successful," said Gleacher & Co
analyst Edlain Rodriguez.
"Buying activity has picked up quite a bit -- Brazil is
buying and farmers in the U.S. are also ready to buy for this
fall. ... The market is much tighter now, than it was back
then," he added, referring to the February price drive.
BPC has posted new potash prices for exports to Asia and
Brazil beginning in September, according to FMB, an industry
BPC, or Belarussian Potash Co, mounted a similar drive in
last February, but resistance from customers was too strong to
sustain the price increase.
Potash Corp, along with Mosaic Co (MOS.N) and Agrium Inc
(AGU.TO) export their output through a joint venture called
The two export consortiums, which account for more than 60
percent of global potash exports, usually mirror each other on
Potash Corp is currently fending-off a $38.6 billion
hostile bid from Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton
For a summary of BHP/Potash stories: [ID:nN22340110]
BHP-Potash deal calculator: r.reuters.com/ruv65n
BPC now plans to sell standard grade potash in Asia at $405
a tonne, with granular grades priced at $420. Recent potash
sales in Southeast Asia range in price from $375 to $390.
China and India, which are among the world's largest potash
importers, typically buy through contracts signed with major
exporters like BPC and Canpotex, rather than on the spot
BPC has also indicated that it plans to sell granular
grades to big buyers in Brazil at $410 a tonne, while it aims
to sell to smaller Brazilian buyers at $420. Sales in Brazil
are currently in the $375 to $385 price range.
In February, BPC had attempted to increase the listed spot
price for standard material to $410 a tonne from $385, while
increasing the price for granular potash to $425 from $400.
Analysts believe potash producers are better positioned to
win pricing gains now than they were earlier in 2010.
($1= $1.07 Canadian)
(Reporting by Euan Rocha)