* Sees 57 mln-58 mln tonnes vs earlier 56 mln-60 mln tonnes
* China, India seen resuming purchases
* Taking patient approach with investments like ICL
By Rod Nickel
Nov 15 Global shipments of potash are likely to
rebound in 2013 to between 57 million and 58 million tonnes,
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc Chief Executive
Bill Doyle said on Thursday.
Demand should increase as the top two consuming countries,
China and India, boost purchases of the crop nutrient, Doyle
said at a Morgan Stanley investor conference in Boston, which
was broadcast on the Internet.
"We see that as a big improvement over this year and we
think 2014 is also going to be a strong volume year," Doyle
In September, Potash Corp pegged demand for 2013 at between
56 million and 60 million tonnes.
"(Potash Corp) has migrated slightly lower. (It) is a tad
more optimistic than our expectation" of 56 million tonnes, said
analyst Robert Winslow of National Bank Financial.
The new forecast would be a sharp increase over this year's
estimated potash shipments of 50 million to 52 million tonnes.
China and India have bought little potash from North American
producers Potash Corp, Agrium Inc and Mosaic Co
in the second half after those countries' supply
contracts with Canpotex - the offshore marketing arm of the
three companies - expired.
Doyle said it is possible that China will sign a new
contract with Canpotex by the end of 2012.
"If you think about the Northern Hemisphere and the planting
that will go on for the 2013 crop, there are going to be moves
made between now and January in China, in India and other
locations around the world to be ready. They are not going to
plant without potash," he said.
China has stepped back from buying North American potash due
to large domestic supplies, while a cut in Indian government
subsidies and weakness in the rupee have made the fertilizer
much more expensive for Indian farmers.
Potash Corp, the world's biggest fertilizer producer, said
late last month that it is ramping up efforts to buy Israel
Chemicals Ltd, the sixth-largest fertilizer producer in
which Potash already owns a 14 percent stake.
Doyle said he would not comment directly on ICL, except to
say that there is no certainty that talks with the company will
lead to any transaction.
Asked whether Potash might sell its stake in ICL if a
takeover does not materialize, Doyle urged a patient view of all
of the company's equity investments, which also include stakes
in Arab Potash Co PLC in Jordan, Sinofert Holdings Ltd
in China and Chile's SQM.
"We want to gain a majority shareholding, but ... this is
not an overnight equation. These are long-term prospects."
Officials within Israel's government, which holds a golden
share in ICL, said last week they would meet with Potash Corp
seeking more details on the company's bid.
Potash Corp shares traded 0.6 percent lower in New York and
down 0.7 percent in Toronto in late trading on Thursday.