For my fertilizer-focused Fools, here's a quick look at some notable events from the potash space.
Last we checked in, PotashCorp
In PotashCorp's playbook, such price-cutting is a big no-no, and K+S is generally known to toe the line. Nevertheless, the fertilizer giant followed Belarusian Potash in breaking rank and caving to cost-conscious customers. This is no doubt a troublesome trend for PotashCorp and its export allies, Agrium
With these output cuts came guidance revisions, with both PotashCorp and K+S taking analyst expectations down a peg or two. K+S cut not only its 2009 shipment forecast, but its 2010 outlook as well, and by an equal amount. PotashCorp, meanwhile, kept its focus on the quarter at hand, lowering earnings estimates sharply.
Turning to the potash export scene, Canpotex (the Canadian potash exporter alliance made up of PotashCorp, Mosaic, and Agrium) settled with Japan on a contract price of $700-plus per ton. That's about $200 lower than last year's contract level. This isn't a horrible result, given prevailing spot prices elsewhere, but it's arguably another sign of the potash cabal losing its grip just a bit.
Finally, as mentioned in my last update, Chinese negotiations are dragging on, with some even talking about moving to a spot market in order to ratchet down the drama. If you follow the analogous situation with iron ore exporters Vale
That leaves India at the fore. The country's deadline for tenders by the world's half-dozen or so key exporters was June 30. Bids have yet to be revealed, but if the agreed-upon price turns out to be significantly shy of last year's levels there as well, don't be surprised to see another share-price slump in the space.