Mosaic cuts potash output as demand slumps

Reuters — U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co. said Monday it would cut potash production and maintain its reduced phosphate output pace, lowering its outlook for sales.

Delayed fertilizer purchases in Brazil and North America have weakened markets, along with volatile currency and equity markets and lower crop prices, Mosaic said in a statement after markets closed.

As a result, the Minnesota-based company said it would extend maintenance downtime at its potash mine near Colonsay, Sask., about 60 km east of Saskatoon.

“We are managing our production levels to match current demand, controlling our costs, and maintaining our discipline,” said CEO Joc O’Rourke, who took over in August.

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Mosaic, North America’s second-biggest potash producer, said potash volumes for the third quarter are expected to be in the bottom half of its guidance range of 1.6 million to two million tonnes.

The average selling price for muriate of potash (MOP) is expected to be in the bottom half of the previously announced range of $260 to $280 per tonne, the company said in a release.

The world’s largest producer of finished phosphate products said phosphate volumes are expected to be at the low end of its range of 2.1 to 2.4 million tonnes for the third quarter. The average selling price for diammonium phosphate (DAP) is expected to be in the upper half of a range of $435 to $455 per tonne.

“The long-term positive outlook for crop nutrient demand has not changed, but the industry faces some near-term challenges in the current environment,” O’Rourke said.

Reporting for Reuters by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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