06 July 2009

Chile's Soquimich Falls Most in Two Weeks on Demand Outlook

By Nathan Gill
     July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, Chile’s biggest fertilizer producer, dropped the most in two weeks on concern that a slump in grain prices may limit demand for the company’s products.
     The Santiago-based company known as Soquimich fell 1.3 percent to 19,674 pesos in Santiago trading, the steepest decline since June 22.
     Corn futures fell to the lowest in four months in Chicago as favorable weather in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower and exporter of the crop, improved the outlook for yields. Soybean and wheat prices also fell as U.S. economic concerns spur a shift by investors away from commodities to the dollar.
     Falling grain prices may signal agricultural producers will spend less on the fertilizers the company markets, Juan Carlos Parra, an analyst at CorpResearch SA, said today in a telephone interview from Santiago.
     “If grain prices fall, agricultural producers have less margin to absorb the costs of their supplies,” Parra said. “Producers will probably be less willing to pay a high price for supplies, including fertilizers.”