Why we have trimmed Agrium


We continue to like Agrium as a company and a core holding, however lately we have been trimmed or reduced our positions.  Now for the record, we still own it in our Canada, Core Income and Diversified Income portfolios, but all have seen the position size reduced.  In this post we will share why we have been trimming and why we are still long. 
Why We Still Own: Our long thesis on Agrium is based on a number of factors.  We do like the industry overall, with few suppliers of global nutrients and the long term trends in rising protein consumption and healthier diets.  More germane to Agrium, they are more defensive in the fertilizer space given the retail operations, which we like.  They benefit from the excess natural gas available in a number of markets.  Decent dividend yield.  And they offer U.S. exposure via a Canadian listed company, one of our key themes present in all our portfolios. 
Why We Now Own Less: The movements in currency of late have created a number of winners, including companies that have significant operations in the U.S. or report in USD, both apply to Agrium.    This has helped lift the share price 45% during the past six months.  This did increase the weight of the position and certainly made taking some profits a good portfolio management idea.  Plus a deterioration in the share prices of many of Agrium's peers also highlighted the sector is under some selling pressure (chart).  These companies tend to move together for the most part and when there is divergence, it often doesn't last.  We have had a couple very good growing seasons and global crop inventories are elevated or near all time highs.  This may limit upside potential in the underlying crop prices.      
Still like the company, but simply want to own less.