Full phosphate feedstock integration allows Acron near-100% utilisation

23 April 2014 15:26 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Russia-based fertilizer producer Acron said on Wednesday it is reaping the benefits of full phosphate feedstock integration because it allows it to satisfy all its internal demand for apatite concentrate.

With apatite concentrate provided by Acron’s subsidiary North Western Phosphorous Company (NWPC), with feedstock coming from the Oleney Ruchey mine in the Kola Peninsula, far northwest of Russia, the company’s nitrogen phosphorus potassium (NPK) units in Russia are operating at near-100% utilisation, it said.

In 2013, the units increased their output 8% year on year to 1.8m tonnes, and would target 1.75m tonnes in 2014, with the slight fall due to scheduled stoppages on the back of planned revamps, according to Acron’s head of investor relations Ilya Popov.

“At the Chinese factory, we plan to produce 517,000 tonnes of compound NPK and 300,000 tonnes of steam-granulated NPK this year, so altogether for 2014 we are planning for 2.3m tonnes of compound and 300,000 tonnes of steam-granulated,” he added.

Acron said it hoped the smoother and less costly running of its NPK production, enabled by the feedstock vertical integration, had come at a time when global fertilizer markets were on the mend.

In its latest briefing on the outlook for world fertilizer markets, Acron said: “The market environment in early 2014 was calm and predictable. We believe that global fertiliser markets have reached the turning point in a two to three-year cycle. There are currently no negative global factors that could cause fertiliser prices to deteriorate.”

By Will Conroy