Norway’s Yara Q4 net profit falls 36% on lower prices

12 February 2013 10:42  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Yara International’s net profit for the fourth quarter of 2012 fell by 36% year on year to Norwegian kroner (NKr) 2.17bn (€294m, $393.8m), due in part to lower product prices, the Norway-based fertilizer specialist said on Tuesday.

Despite the fall in profits during the quarter, from NKr3.39bn during the same period in 2011, total sales were up 15% year on year to NKr 6.18bn, the company added.

Prices were broadly stable quarter-on-quarter, Yara said, but the average prices for many products had fallen year-on-year.

Average prices for urea prilled FOB (free on board) Black Sea were down 14% year on year to $385/tonne (€289/tonne), driven by “significantly” lower Chinese export taxes, while average prices for ammonium nitrate CIF (cost insurance freight) France were down 6% to $466/tonne.

Average prices for calcium ammonium nitrate CIF Germany were down 9% to $343/tonne, while diammonium phosphate FOB US Gulf and phosphate rock FOB Morocco were both down 14% to $523/tonne and $173/tonne respectively.

Ammonia FOB Black Sea prices were up 9% during the quarter to $627/tonne, Yara said, adding that strong grain prices were driving nitrogen demand in spite of a ramp-up of supply from China.

“Strong grain prices continue to support global nitrogen demand, even absorbing a large increase in supply from China. This demand increase is both welcome and necessary to avoid a further decline in global grain stocks,” said Yara CEO Jorgen Ole Haslestad.

Net profit was also down for the full-year 2012, to NKr10.6bn compared to NKr 12.07bn in 2011, despite a 6% increase in sales during the period to NKr25.45bn.

The company predicts that fertilizer demand for agriculture is likely to remain strong in 2013, due to stable prices and tightening supply in some regions.

“The global farm margin outlook and incentives for fertilizer application are strong. The FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] food price index is at the same level overall as a year ago, with cereal prices 13% higher reflecting tighter supply in several regions,” Yara added.

($1 = €0.75, $1 = NKr5.51, €1 = NKr7.38)

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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