The reversal of fortune is particularly stark in Mosaic's phosphates division, which is more than twice the size of the potash segment by sales. In last year's comparable period, phosphates actually turned in a modest operating loss. This time around, those earnings approached half a billion dollars. So what's behind the boom?
The world is hooked on the phosphate rock sold by Mosaic, Agrium
There's more where that came from. Mosaic's estimates for prices during the current quarter represent another giant leap, and foretell fireworks. But here's a question: With these huge price moves, why don't new companies just swoop in and open up new mines?
Well, this is no easy feat, for two reasons. First, to take the example of potash, it would probably be at least five years before a new operation could get up and running.
Second, such a project would be extremely expensive. Potash
In short, it doesn't take a fertile imagination to see robust profits. When it comes to the stock's potential, my crystal ball fogs over.