Shares of Brazilian oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro ADR (NYSE:PBR) traded higher by 5% on Friday after the company announced it is selling its potassium mining rights in the Amazon Basin.
What Happened? Petrobas said Thursday that it is seeking bidders for its potassium mining assets, including eight mining concessions, four granted mining requests and 22 pending requests for research.
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Why It's Important: Global Potash supply has gotten squeezed since Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia and Belarus account for a combined 40% of global potash stocks, which is a key ingredient in fertilizers used to grow corn, soy, rice and wheat.
Potassium chloride spot prices are up about 177% from a year ago.
Brazil's agriculture sector reportedly imports about 85% of its fertilizer.
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Petrobas also announced it is cutting diesel prices for the second time in a week on Thursday as part of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's push to combat inflation.
Petrobas' big move helped push the Ishares Msci Brazil ETF (NYSE:EWZ) higher by 1.9% on Friday, and several other big Brazilian stocks may have been trading higher in sympathy:
- Banco Bradesco SA (NYSE:BBD) was up 1.7%
- Suzano (NYSE:SUZ) was up 2%
- Ultrapar Participacoes SA (NYSE:UGP) was up 3.7%.
Friday was also the ex-dividend day for Petrobas, which has a whopping 19.8% yield. Shareholders who bought the stock prior to Friday are entitled to a $1.295 dividend to be paid on Sept. 8.
Benzinga's Take: The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) has struggled so far in 2022, but the EWZ Brazil ETF is up 14.7% year-to-date. Petrobas has been a top performer among U.S.-listed Brazilian stocks, generating a more than 40.6% year-to-date total return.