Worldwide Fertilizer Usage

Speaking of inflation driven food prices: Here’s a little infoporn for anyone who followed us into Mosaic (MOS) or trade in Potash (POT) or others:

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Shortages Threaten Farmers’ Key Tool: Fertilizer
NYT April 30, 2008

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Vermont Trader commented on Apr 30

    They are plowing (and fertilizing) every field they can up here in VT. Fields that haven’t been cultivated in 20 years are getting corn this year.

  2. bdg123 commented on Apr 30

    Nothing quite like the impact fertilizer runoff has on the ecosystem. It’s a little like that Hudson River Cocktails I used to drink courtesy of the those up river plants dumping PCBs. But, we don’t need no stinking government regulation.

    Did you see the Planet in Peril when Anderson Cooper had a blood profile ran only to find out he still had PCBs in his system from drinking NY water as a child?

    Give me another Yangtze Cocktail.

  3. donna commented on Apr 30

    I’ve switched my yard to organic permaculture practices and it is so much healthier and happier. Organic is the way to go, better for the soil, and the plants, and the animals and people.

    Or you could be like my neighbor and put in a plastic yard. It’s boring and sterile, but at least it’s not leaching chemicals into the storm sewers.

  4. JL commented on Apr 30

    Killing ourselves so we can eat.

  5. Bill commented on Apr 30

    Has the game changed or am i no longer naive?

    Has it always been this way, with the government statistics not reflecting reality or is this a new paradigm or the last vestiges of an aging empire holding onto its last monopoly?

    When i started trading it seemed as though smart money understood the data beyond the headlines and profitted. Now, it seems like they realize that you have to trade with the government and FED’s intentions or you will get killed – even if its not accurate.

    Whats going on here? Is this new or has the game evolved into total market manipulation in the fight for international funds?

  6. Stephen Keith commented on Apr 30

    They’re also selling off all the cattle and pigs and chickens because they can’t afford to feed them anymore.

    The masticater’s market: Go carniverous for a year, as beef, pork and poultry will be cheap, then herbivorous for a couple of years as supply catches up w/ demand, then omniverous, because by then this should all be getting behind us.

  7. Francois commented on Apr 30

    This may not be the best time to talk about ecology, (is there EVER a good time to talk about it anyway?) BUT, did anyone noticed the dead zones caused by the waste generated by chemical fertilizers?

    Let’s not kid ourselves here: this stuff has notable economic impacts. Coastal areas that are dead zones are not exactly engines of economic growth, aren’t they?

    I’m sorry, but farmers had had a free pass for way too long with the environment. First, by grossly mispricing water on the low side, then by refusing to filter their waste. We need more organic, diversified cultures, with a local approach; and of course either mandatory drip irrigation or raise the hell out of the price of water. We can’t eat dollars but we need water.

  8. RPB commented on Apr 30

    If you pay attention to the extra-US equities market you would see that some clever industrialists have already began their foray into fertilizers. Recognizing the downtrodden environment cement would face over the next 5-10 years, Nassef Sawiris of Orascom Construction Industries has entirely divested himself of his cement portfolio.

    Now, (as of August ’07) he has taken the proceeds and invested heavily in urea, ammonium and other fertilizer related chemicals in Algeria. This will allow him an excellent entry point as Algeria, rich in natural gas, allows him cheap access to the basic materials required to produce these chemicals. Furthermore, in Algeria Orascom has acquired a near tax exempt status for the next 10 years. Couple these two advantages with lax pollution controls and fertilizer running over USD1000/ton and you have a real winner.

    Considering Sawiris’s near simultaneous entry into LNG in these markets, Orascom Construction sits ready to explode. Invest in the GDRs, if you have the grit.

  9. stuart commented on Apr 30

    The pressures on current food supplies is detracting from the fact that ultimately this is a good news story, that is, more people eating better. Huge investment opportunities to come in tech companies that can improve crop tonnage per acre from less arable land.

  10. wunsacon commented on Apr 30

    Barry, this graph is wrong. For instance, there should be a big brown spot over D.C.

    Oh, wait… All the dots on the graph are centered over a particular country; not over particular locations of heavy fertilizer usage.

    My bad.

  11. Andrew Horowitz commented on Apr 30


    With respect, this one is a bunch of crap


  12. kateNC commented on May 1

    And to think if we’d use charcoal we wouldn’t have to use fertilizer. And it keeps on attracting nutrients over the years without having to be replaced.

  13. Mark E Hoffer commented on May 1

    the heavy-fertilizer usage style of Farming, is akin to the MickeyD’s Drive-Thru style of Eating–fast, sloppy, and will Kill..eventually.

    Posted by: Francois, above, is all too true, and, is another, grand example that Subsidies breed waste..

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