PotashCorp reduces potash shipments forecast, expects better 2014

24 October 2013 23:22  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Unexpected market conditions have led PotashCorp to reduce its forecast for 2013 global potash shipments to a range of 53m-54m tonnes, the company said on Thursday, but executives anticipate that volume to rebound to a level of 55m-58m tonnes in 2014.

Speaking during a Q3 2013 earnings conference call, PotashCorp CEO Bill Doyle said that although the fourth quarter is typically slower, the circumstances of delayed refilling due to a lag in harvesting, the Uralkali spat with Belarus authorities and Indian buyers still facing subsidy and currency issues has added increased pressures on the market.

Previously, the company had estimated there would be shipments in the range of 56m tonnes, and although the renewed outlook is a slight decline, it would still come in higher than the 51m tonnes moved in 2012.

Doyle said the company is revising its full-year sales volume forecast to 8.4m tonnes from 8m tonnes. He said buyer caution during uncertain times is predictable and understandable but that the main focus of management was to guide the business through these unstable periods.

“We have seen this pattern many times over the years, and history has shown that buyer deferrals are generally followed by growth in demand," the CEO said.

Looking towards growth opportunities in the next year, Doyle said a recently published study showed that fertilizer is the most affordable it has been in nine years, not just in potash. The first half of the year showed desirable demand and movement, he said, but that clash of circumstances has left the market in flux. However, the near-term outlook remains positive, he added.

“We’re going to be seeing a response because that affordability is still there, and before the 2014 crop is planted you’re going to see a major rebound in demand for not only potash, but the other fertilizers as well,” Doyle said.


By: Mark Milam



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