Brian Ostroff: The Demand for Phosphate keeps Increasing
Brian discusses how phosphate is essential for fertilizer, along with potash and nitrogen. Many investors make the mistake of thinking they are all similar, but there are key differences. Most phosphate production ends up in the fertilizer, but there are other specific uses such as food preservation. Phosphate demand grows steadily by four to five million tons every year.
Much of the world’s supply comes from sedimentary deposits, some of which contain other elements that have to be refined out. As a result, not all phosphates trade at the same prices since there are differing grades.
What is intriguing about phosphate is that much of the world runs at a deficit. This deficit is made up for by the Middle East and Northern Africa. Morroco today is the most significant player in phosphate while Tunisia, Libya, and Syria used to be large suppliers and security of supply in that region remains an ongoing concern.
China produces phosphates, but they are nearing a supply deficit and India is today’s largest importer, and together, these two countries make up 40% of the world’s population.
Arianne is traded on the TSX.V: DAN and the US OTC market. Brian says, “We are trading at 4% of our net asset value. We are in a safe jurisdiction, fully permitted, and shovel ready. There is just no awareness of the sector anymore. Arianne is pretty much a one of a kind asset.”
Phosphate is not the most exciting commodity, but its essential for food production, and at the end of the day, humanity can’t drink oil, and we can’t eat gold.
Talking Points From This Week’s Episode
• Overview of the fertilizer markets.
• Phosphate has key differences from potash and nitrogen.
• The world needs additional phosphate each year.
• Much of it comes from the Middle East.
Brian Ostroff is Chief Executive Officer and Director of Arianne Phosphate. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto (1986). In 1987, he joined RBC Dominion Securities where his focus was on smaller cap special situations as well as alternative investments. In 1999, Brian joined the M&A advisory firm Goodrich Capital where he was the Canadian managing partner overseeing mandates across a spectrum of industries with a focus on display technologies and mining. In 2004, Brian moved over to the trading side of the business where he spent a year as a proprietary trader with a large Canadian bank and subsequently on his own for four years before joining Windermere Capital as Managing Director. His area of focus is the junior and mid-tier mining sector. Mr. Ostroff has sat on Arianne Phosphate’s board since 2014.