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Potash and Phosphate Miner Mosaic Co. Reduces Output

The Mosaic Company, Plymouth-based miner of potash and phosphate with nearly 10 billion USD in annual revenue, has announced that it was going to reduce its production of phosphate fertilizer due to high ammonia and sulfur prices. The nutrient producer said it did not want to downsize or lay off so it decided to lower operating rates at its concentrates plants and mines. Jim Prokopanko, the company’s CEO, commented that phosphate raw material input costs were disconnected from fundamental agricultural economics, and had escalated despite weaker grain and oilseed prices. “In the near term, we will be margin-focused and will limit inventory build-up during the seasonally-slow part of the year,” he added.

The production slowdown is expected to extend across Mosaic’s phosphate facilities but won’t affect any particular location. The company still anticipates a record-setting 2014 for global phosphate and potash shipments and growth next year. “Crop nutrients remain affordable for farmers,” while adding that “[we] remain confident about the supply and demand fundamentals for phosphates, especially as large crop harvests remove large amounts of nutrients from the soil.” Phosphate and potash sales were expected to be the lowest at the end of the third quarter of 2014 due to negative weather-driven potash outages and phosphate shipment timing.

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