Jan 26, 2005
Since 2001 Yara has had a global marketing agreement with Chilean specialty fertilizer company SQM, which has been very successful for both parties. Since 2002 Yara has also been an indirect owner of SQM through the Chilean companies Pampa Calichera and SQYA. Since Yara's acquisition of shares in 2002, the market value of the SQM shares has almost doubled.
Through a series of transactions in December and January, Yara and partners have increased their equity holding in SQM from 20.8% to 24.9% giving the group the same ownership percentage in SQM as the other main shareholder, the Canadian fertilizer company PCS.
"Yara and SQM's products together provide our customers with a complete and unique assortment of specialty fertilizers tailored to specific crops and soil conditions. The strengthening of Yara's position in SQM is a sign of our long-term commitment to SQM and specialty fertilizers," says Yara President and CEO Thorleif Enger.
The global agreement between SQM and Yara covers a number of products, manufacturing facilities and marketing networks. Since its implementation in 2002 the combined turnover in specialty fertilizer has doubled. While SQM is the sole distributor in selected markets in Latin America and the Middle East, Yara sells the complete portfolio of products in other countries around the world. In 2004 Yara sold approximately 500,000 tonnes of SQM products, which is an increase of 19% compared with 2003.
Egil Hogna, Investor Relations
Telephone (+47) 24 15 71 66
Cellular (+47) 90 187 865
Arne Cartridge, Media Relations
Telephone (+47) 24 15 73 01
Cellular (+47) 47 900 900
Yara International ASA is the world's leading supplier of mineral fertilizers with particular strength in nitrogen based fertilizers. Yara has a local presence in 50 countries worldwide. Yara sells more than 20 million tonnes of mineral fertilizers in more than 120 countries. Yara offers fertilizers meeting the nutrient needs of local crops supported by agronomic advice to make farming more profitable and agriculture more sustainable. Yara has a strong position in industrial markets in Europe as a supplier of nitrogen based chemicals and is the leading supplier of liquid CO2.
SQM is a world leader in specialty fertilizers, iodine and lithium. SQM has an international distribution network of 20 subsidiaries, with commercial offices, warehouses and blending plants, creating valuable economies of scale and providing high quality service to each customer. In 2003 company total sales reached USD 692 million. 77% of the total sales came from exports to more than 100 countries. SQM's shares are traded on the Chilean stock exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange through the ADR mechanism. SQM's products are obtained by processing caliche ore in Chile's I and II Regions and from the brines of the Salar de Atacama in the II Region. The favorable natural conditions of the Atacama desert, allows SQM to be one of the lowest cost producers worldwide of potassium chloride, lithium carbonate, potassium sulfate and boric acid.