Fertilizer Stocks Have Soared on Putin’s War. Proceed With Caution.
Updated March 23, 2022 8:26 am ET
Haven’t earned enough on your oil stocks since Russia invaded Ukraine? You should have bought , the Western Hemisphere’s top fertilizer producer, based in Saskatoon, Canada.
Its shares (ticker: NTR.Canada) have climbed 37% in the month since Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation.” The exchange-traded fund (XLE), a proxy for Big Oil, is up a mere 13%.
As big as Russia is in oil, it’s more critical to global fertilizer markets. Farmers around the world rely on fertilizer derived from three different natural resources: potash, phosphate, and natural gas. Russia and its satellite Belarus produce more than a third of global potash, and of course dominate in natural gas. Belarus’ potash exports were strangled by Western sanctions even before the war. Russia cut its own off by executive order March 4.