Canada's Agrium looks for high crop prices to support fertilizer

03 August 2012 17:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--North American demand for crop nutrients this autumn should be good with high corn prices supportive of nitrogen fertilizer use, Canada-based agricultural retailer and fertilizer producer Agrium said on Friday.

"While nutrient demand should be good, dry weather conditions in the US corn belt could delay ammonia applications to next spring," said Mike Wilson, Agrium chief executive, during a conference call with investors.

Because of earlier planted crops this year, the autumn ammonia application window should be wider than normal, Agrium said.

But rain is needed in the US midwest to moisten soils adequately to allow application equipment to function properly and to seal nitrogen in the soil, the company said.

"Without moisture, farmers will put off ammonia application to the spring, which will cause a big log jam then," Wilson said.

"We expect strong demand for crop inputs during the second half of 2012 and into 2013, as growers respond to the compelling economic incentive to maximise yields and profitability," said Wilson.

Wilson noted that Agrium is currently investigating a site for the location of a new nitrogen fertilizer production facility, but the company is not ready to reveal where the site would be.

Agrium said its 495,000 tonne/year ammonia plant at Fort Saskatchewan would be shut down for a three-week maintenance turnaround in September.

($1 = €0.82)

By: Frank Zaworski
+1 713 525 2653

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