21 April 2009 22:13 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US fertilizer producer Terra Industries said on Tuesday that an increase in sales and a decrease in input costs would deliver improved financial results in the second quarter.
“Compared to the first quarter, we expect much stronger earnings in the second quarter driven by improved sales volumes and lower feedstock costs,” said Terra CEO Michael Bennett during a conference call.
Earlier on Tuesday, Iowa-based Terra reported first-quarter 2009 revenues of $419.8m (€323m), compared with $574.7m in the first quarter of 2008.
“This planting season’s nitrogen applications have run behind schedule in part due to early wet field conditions in much of the midwest,” Bennett said.
“We believe UAN will again be a premium-value product for growers this spring due to the application flexibility it provides and we expect the balance of the second quarter to be extremely busy as those applications are completed,” he added.
Bennett said second-quarter nitrogen fertilizer volumes should be similar to those of last year’s second quarter, with industrial ammonia volumes likely to lag behind last year’s levels.
Looking forward, fundamental drivers of the fertilizer business such as market demand and input costs should be positive in the second half of 2009, Bennett said.
“We anticipate second-half fertilizer product volumes will approximate an average of the two preceding years,” Bennett said. "When the global economy begins to recover, industrial demand for nitrogen should recover as well.
“The domestic natural gas market is projected to remain soft through the balance of the year due to ample supplies and continued weak industrial demand for gas," he added. "As a result, we expect our feedstock costs to remain very attractive through the balance of the year.”
($1 = €0.77)
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