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Mosaic Sees Uncertain Summer Demand, Cautious Buyers

Mosaic Co. (MOS) expects a slow start to the 2013 fiscal year in June, as customers remain cautious amid uncertainty about the direction of grain and fertilizer prices. Executives with the potash and phosphate fertilizer producer said that dealers, who have been slow to secure supplies despite expectations of heavy demand this spring, are planning to end the season "largely empty" of inventory. "There is a great sense of risk-avoidance by the dealer," Chief Executive Jim Prokopanko told investors in a conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings, which were down 50% from a year ago. "The nature of the supply chain has become much more cautionary." Still, he said farmer demand will remain strong. U.S. corn farmers are expected to plant anywhere from 94 million to 97 million acres of corn this year, Prokopanko noted, potentially the most acreage since World War II. Forecasting potash demand in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, which starts in June, has been extremely difficult, Prokopanko said. It will depend on prospects for the 2012 crop, he said. The potential for a bumper crop would weigh on the price of corn, and along with it fertilizer prices. Prokopanko said the company would likely see a slow start to the year, but a strong finish. He added that even if dealers clear out their inventory and remain cautious, ultimately demand will remain strong. "We know they may delay, but they can't completely avoid having to load up on potash and phosphate," Prokopanko said. Mosaic's third-quarter results fell below analyst expectations, and shares were recently down 4.3% to $55.71 per share. -By Ian Berry, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-750-4072; ian.berry@dowjones.com

Stock News for Mosaic (MOS)
DateTimeHeadline
04/23/201413:17:25Canada Signs $40 Million Contract to Sell Potash to Bangladesh
04/15/201414:10:29Mosaic to Buy Archer Daniels Fertilizer Business
04/15/201413:41:48Mosaic to Buy Archer Daniels Midland Fertilizer Business in Brazil...
03/20/201417:50:17Mosaic CEO Diagnosed With Cancer
03/20/201416:52:01Mosaic CEO Diagnosed With Cancer, Plans to Continue as CEO
02/11/201409:38:44U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
02/11/201408:17:48Mosaic Earnings Plummet on Lower Realized Prices
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11/15/201309:01:37HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Eliminations
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11/15/201309:01:27HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Sales
11/15/201309:01:27HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Eliminations -2-
11/15/201308:47:30ValueAct Capital Management LP 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases
11/15/201308:47:28ValueAct Capital Management LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201308:27:47S.A.C. Capital Advisors LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201308:27:47S.A.C. Capital Advisors LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of -2-
11/15/201307:59:25Soros Fund Management 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases

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