NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 04/02/12 -- The Agricultural Chemicals Industry looks to gain, as rising prices for corn and oilseeds look to entice North American Farmers to shift focus. Oilseeds all demand a high degree of fertilizer. Nitrogen, potash and phosphate are the most important fertilizers that farmers apply. The Paragon Report examines the outlook for companies in the Agricultural Chemicals Industry and provides equity research on Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) and Agrium Inc. (NYSE: AGU) (TSE: AGU).
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Droughts across South America are expected to cause sharp declines in global soybean production, which is driving up the price of oilseeds, including canola oil, Canada's second most-valuable crop. The weaker-than-normal supply of oilseeds is already pushing up prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says cash prices for soybeans rose by about $1 per bushel last month, pushing toward $13 a bushel.
"Richer returns are expected to encourage North American farmers to dedicate more of their acreage to soybeans, canola and even corn, all which demand a high degree of fertilizer to produce good crops," said Patricia Mohr, vice-president of economics and commodity market specialist at Bank of Nova Scotia.
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The Mosaic Company announced that its Board of Directors approved an annual dividend program of $0.50 per share. This program increases the annual targeted dividend 150%, from the current level of $0.20 per share. The new dividend program is planned to go into effect with the next regularly declared dividend, expected to be declared in April 2012.
Agrium Inc. announced that, as part of its agreement with Glencore International PLC, it plans to acquire Viterra Inc.'s retail stores in Canada and Australia as well as the company's interest in a Medicine Hat, Alta. nitrogen facility.
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