Potash Corp hurt by fall in income from overseas investments

Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:57pm EDT
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By Swetha Gopinath and Rod Nickel

(Reuters) - Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) (POT.N: Quote) narrowed its full-year earnings forecast range and the company reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as income fell from its overseas investments.

The price of the crop nutrient potash has plunged year over year, triggered by the breakup last year of trading partnership Belarusian Potash Co that created more competition among producers.

Potash Corp, the world's biggest fertilizer company by market value, said the average realized price for potash fell 8.5 percent to $281 per ton in the third quarter from a year earlier.

Potash prices rose 7 percent from the second quarter, however, and sales volume jumped 29 percent from a year earlier.

The company's shares eased by 0.3 percent in afternoon trading in New York and Toronto.

Potash Corp said the global potash industry was now expected to ship 58 to 60 million tons in 2014, more than the 56.5-58 million it had estimated earlier.

Global potash demand in 2015 looked to reach similar levels, despite a drop in crop prices, said Chief Executive Jochen Tilk.

"While we expect lower farm profitability still has the potential to impact demand in certain regions, we also believe crop pricing remains within the band that is supportive of farmer economics and fertilization," he said.   Continued...

Potash Corp's head office in Saskatoon is pictured on November 3, 1010.  REUTERS/David Stobbe