Potash Pushes Uralkali Up to Record

Uralkali, the company developing the world's second-largest potash deposit, on Monday rose to a record in London trading after it said prices might exceed $1,000 a ton, a fivefold increase from last year.

Uralkali rose as much as 9.7 percent, the biggest gain in more than two months, as the company plans to focus on selling into rising global markets and slash shipments to China, which buys the soil nutrient under a long-term contract at lower rates.

Potash may reach $1,000 per ton "rather fast" as the world is producing 1.2 million tons less than needed, Oleg Petrov, Uralakli head of sales, told investors on a conference call.

Uralkali's Global Depositary Receipts climbed as much as $4.60 to $52 by 2:57 p.m. in London, valuing the company at $22 billion.

Uralkali, controlled by billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, plans to reduce its headcount by 30 percent by 2010, it said in a presentation on its web site Monday.