By Richard Keller, AgProfessional editor

Bids to buy PotashCorp have some in the fertilizer industry worried and others in agriculture enthusiastic that purchase of the company could break the hold Canpotex Ltd. has on potash prices around the world.

Canpotex is owned by three fertilizer companies that have large Saskatchewan, Canada-based mining operations and operate as a cartel in negotiating prices together overseas. Canpotex exists because of a Canadian-government exemption to its competition law that allows PotashCorp, Agrium Inc. and Mosaic Company to coordinate sales worldwide outside of Canada and the United States.

BHP Billiton made an offer to buy PotashCorp, and the worry in Canada was that the change in ownership could result in a breakup of Canpotex, and would likely have negative impact on Saskatchewan's economy. PotashCorp reportedly is responsible for more than 50 percent of the Canpotex sales volume.


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