US Mosaic to shed over 500 jobs, part of 5-year cost-cutting plan

06 May 2014 19:19 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US fertilizer producer Mosaic said on Tuesday it is reducing its workforce by over 500 jobs over the next 12 months as part of a company’s strategy to eliminate $500m in costs over a five-year period.

The Minnesota-based producer said the approximately 550 job cuts will come not from the production segment of the business but rather from a combination of layoffs, attrition, early retirement and reducing contractors.

Two areas that will account for a portion of the job cuts are the units in Chile and Argentina, which are being divested, and mining operations in Florida, which have reached the end of production cycles.

CEO Jim Prokopanko said during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call that the job cuts are an attempt by Mosaic to strengthen its position as a low-cost phosphate producer and improve overall potash operations.

In March the company laid off 51 employees at its Saskatchewan potash operations, citing current market conditions for the job reductions. At the time Mosaic officials said the job loss would account for less than 2% of its workforce in the providence where it operates three potash mines. 

Mosaic is not the only producer that has responded to the downturn in the market by reducing employment. In late 2013 PotashCorp announce the elimination of jobs, with the Canadian producer cutting 18% of its workforce, citing a sluggish environment for fertilizers, most notably potash and phosphates. 

By Mark Milam