Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) — Grain farmers will need to harvest record crops every year to meet increasing global food demand and avoid famine, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. Chief Executive Officer William Doyle said.
People and livestock are consuming more grain than ever, draining world inventories and increasing the likelihood of shortages, Doyle said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Global grain stockpiles fell to about 53 days of supply last year, the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1960, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“If you had any major upset where you didn’t have a crop in a major growing agricultural region this year, I believe you’d see famine,” Doyle, 57, said in New York.
Potash, the world’s largest maker of crop nutrients, has more than doubled in market value in the past year as record crop prices allowed farmers to spend more on fertilizer to boost yields. The company has more than doubled net income in the past two years to $1.1 billion and expects gross profit from potash to expand to $8 billion within five years from $912 million in 2007. Potash is a form of potassium that helps plants grow.