Potash Price-Fixing Lawsuit Revived

July 2, 2012 03:46 AM

A U.S. federal court of appeals revived an anti-trust lawsuit brought by potash buyers in 2008 which accuses seven major potash producers of conspiring to inflate potash prices globally, reports Reuters. The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago reversed its decision announced in September saying the plaintiffs may argue there was a direct, substantial and reasonably foreseeable link between the alleged global cartel and a six-fold increase in U.S. potash prices from 2003 to 2008.

"The allegations suffice, at this stage, to support a plausible story of concerted action," Reuters quotes Judge Diane Wood as writing for the eight-judge panel.

Defendants include Canada's Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp., Minnesota-based Mosaic Co., and four companies from Russia and Belarus. These firms account for about 71% of total global potash supplies when the case was brought in 2008. The U.S. consumed 6.2 million tons of potash in 2008 of which 5.3 million tone were imported.

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