Mosaic May Further Reduce Potash Output Amid Weak Demand

Mosaic Co., the largest U.S. fertilizer producer, may further reduce its output of potash amid lower-than-expected global demand for the crop nutrient, Chief Financial Officer Larry Stranghoener said.

“We will continue to match production with demand, which may require us to further lower our operating rates,” Stranghoener said at an investor presentation in New York today. Mosaic, based in Plymouth, Minnesota, yesterday cut its fiscal second-quarter forecast for potash and phosphate shipments as international buyers delay purchases.

The company said yesterday it expects to ship 1.3 million to 1.4 million metric tons of potash in the quarter ending this month, down from an Oct. 2 forecast of 1.6 million to 1.9 million. Delays in signing contracts in China and India have spurred other buyers to postpone their purchases because they expect prices for crop nutrients to decline, Mosaic said.

Mosaic also reduced its projection for phosphate shipments to 2.9 million to 3.1 million tons, from 3 million to 3.4 million previously.

Mosaic fell 3.3 percent to $49.10 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since Oct. 2. The shares have declined 2.6 percent this year.

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