Price Effects from the Merger of Agricultural Fertilizer Manufacturers Agrium and PotashCorp

Authors:
Nicholas Kreisle
Working Paper:
345

In 2018, Agrium and PotashCorp merged to become the world’s largest manufacturer of potash, from which potassium is extracted for use as one of the three main nutrients in agricultural fertilizer. The merged firm held a 60 percent share of North American capacity, suggesting the merger may have been close to the enforcement margin.  This paper studies the effects of the merger on North American potash prices relative to offshore prices and other crop nutrients.  The evidence does not indicate that the firms were able to impose an anticompetitive price increase in the wake of the merger.