Potash prices, profits plunge
July 28, 2016 - Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan reports profits have been slashed from $417 to $121 million for the second quarter of its fiscal year, and that potash prices are now running about $154 per tonne compared with $273 a year ago.
The company closed a mine in New Brunswick and lengthened maintenance shut-downs for mines in Saskatchewan because sales have been slow, mainly to China which has been waiting to place annual orders. North and Central American sales have been fine, but the story is different for not only China, but also other Asian markets.
"Fertilizer markets have been under pressure through the first six months of 2016, however we believe the uncertainty that weighed on potash market sentiment is now lifting and a recovery is beginning," said Potash Corp president and CEO Jochen Tilk.
Crop insurance acreage steady
July 28, 2016 - Agricorp reports that crop insurance sales cover about the same total acreage this year as recent years.
Farmers have taken out insurance on slightly more than two million acres of soybeans, about 1.5 million acres of corn and slightly less than 800,000 of winter wheat.
Agricorp is reminding farmers that they can draw interim funds from Agristability if they are in financial stress.
It says they should promptly report any crop damage so Agricorp can provide advice about how to proceed.
Loblaws profits dip 14.6 per cent
July 27, 2016 - Loblaws profits dipped by 14.6 per cent to $158 million for the most recent fiscal quarter.
Revenues increased by two per cent with stronger gains in Shoppers Drug Mart than the supermarkets.
The main hit to margins was higher financing costs.