Commodity price surge predicted

Talk of a nascent recovery in the global economy has been embraced by the Canadian natural resources sector, with several companies predicting a near-term surge in commodity prices.

TORONTO — Talk of a nascent recovery in the global economy has been embraced by the Canadian natural resources sector, with several companies predicting a near-term surge in commodity prices.

Industrial demand for metals, minerals and other commodities is slowly improving and prospects for a rapid recovery in the world’s major developing economies, particularly China, had many natural resource companies singing an optimistic tune Tuesday at a global mining and materials conference in Toronto.

The president and CEO of Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp. (TSX:POT) predicted 2010 will be a “record year” for the fertilizer industry as farmers worldwide, who have been cutting fertilizer use re-enter the market in droves.

“We’ve been through a long period of virtual paralysis in the fertilizer markets but that’s coming to an end now because you can only go so long before you need to use fertilizer,” Bill Doyle said at RBC Capital Markets’ global mining and materials conference.

Doyle predicted Brazil will import one million tonnes of potash a month between July and October and other farmers worldwide will be forced to jump back into the market this year as well.

In addition, Doyle and Mike Wilson, the CEO of Calgary-based fertilizer producer Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU), predicted an ongoing pricing dispute with major potash importers India and China will be resolved this summer, resulting in skyrocketing demand.

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