Vale sees potash drop while phosphate output rises in Q2

24 July 2014 19:44 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--While its Q2 2014 potash production decreased by 11.8% over the quarter, Brazilian mining titan Vale on Thursday said total production of phosphate rock reached 2.1m tonnes, which is a record output for a second quarter time period for the company.

In its Q2 2014 production report the producer said potash production totalled 96,000 tonnes which was 11.8% less than the prior quarter and 15% lower year-on-year.

Company officials said that in Q2 potash production had faced challenges as it has experienced a declining grade in quality as the mine is gradually moving towards exhaustion and that the operations had also suffered from limited availability of the concentration plant in part to recent maintenance stoppages.

Phosphates for the quarter reached record output and represented a production increase of 9.9% from the prior quarter and were 11.9% higher year-on-year. Vale said production grew in Brazil and Peru primarily.

In terms of monoammonium phosphate (MAP) production Vale produced 263,000 tonnes in Q2 which is a decrease of 4.8% from the previous quarter and was attributed to lower output at its Uberaba in Minas Gerais site due to limited availability of phosphoric acid. During the quarter the complex underwent scheduled maintenance which also impacted the results.

For triple superphosphate (TSP) Vale increased output by 7.8% compared to Q1 2014 and was 3.4% higher year-on-year. Total production was 223,000 tonnes, which was a record performance for a second quarter, the company said.

Production of single superphosphate (SSP) was at 506,000 tonnes, which was 41.6% higher than Q1 and was 2.5% higher year-on-year.

Ammonia produced by Vale in Q2 was at 47,000 tonnes which was down 4% from the previous quarter and represent a decreased by 58% from the 111,000 tonnes seen in Q2 2013.

The company said the drop in production is attributed to its sale of its Araucaria operation last summer. The Brazilian facility produced both ammonia and urea and Vale has now centered its ammonia operations at its plant site in Cubatao.

By Mark Milam