Fertilizer Firms Spread Wealth to Shareholders as Farmers Weather Extreme Prices – The American Prospect

“Deposits of potash and phosphates happen to occur wherever God or nature wanted to place them,” Andres Santacruz, a fertilizer trader with the Russian mineral firm Acron Group, said in an interview with the Prospect. That helps explain why the nutrient mineral industry has typically been concentrated in a smaller number of hands. It has seen the rise and fall of cartels that have been compared to OPEC, the group of oil-producing states. Mosaic, a top supplier of potash and phosphate, now enjoys around 90 percent of U.S. market share, according to two analysts of the sector, granting it enviable pricing power.

In 2019, four firms—Koch, CF Industries, Nutrien, and Yara-USA—represented three-quarters of total domestic nitrogen fertilizer production.

American farmers have cried foul over the price surge, pointing out that the prices of inputs like fertilizers and seeds, sold by monopolistic producers, frequently rise in tandem with higher crop prices and eat into their unpredictable profits.

Fertilizer Firms Spread Wealth to Shareholders as Farmers Weather Extreme Prices – The American Prospect