Shares in German potash miner K+S fall 6 percent to a three-week low at the bottom of German blue-chip index DAX due to a disappointing outlook, traders say.
The company anticipates a drop in operating profit for a third year due to lower potash prices, which are mainly caused by a breakup of a powerful sales alliance between rivals Uralkali and Belaruskali last year.
UBS analysts see a risk to pricing from independent contract buyers.
“Belaruskali is clearly finding it tough to sell and market product in a post-cartel world, and covering fixed costs with deep discounted contracts is probably very attractive for them,” UBS analysts write in a note.
This might come in handy for groups like Norwegian fertiliser producer Yara and Russian PhosAgro, which are not bound by a contract but free to go for the lowest bidder.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts highlight that the guidance of stagnating salt sales in 2014 also might be seen as moderately disappointing. K+S is the world’s largest salt supplier.
($1 = 0.7192 euros)
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