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Threatened potash strike could pressure fertilizer prices

Agriculture.com Staff 07/22/2008 @ 1:55pm

As if there's not enough upward pressure on fertilizer prices, another one may be developing north of the border.

Around 500 workers at three potash mines owned and operated by the Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. are threatening to strike. The union workers are seeking a larger share of the company's profits, which soared to a record $566 million in the first quarter of this year -- almost triple what they were a year previously.

Reports indicate high prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and rice, as well as booming world fertilizer demand, have been a major factor in the Potash revenue gains. Reports indicate the company's stock has soared 140% in value in the last year.

On Tuesday, a statement from United Steelworkers, the union representing the Potash Corp. workers, said 96% of the 500 workers indicated they would favor a strike, bringing production to a halt at the three mines that produce around 30% of the company's potash.

As if there's not enough upward pressure on fertilizer prices, another one may be developing north of the border.

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