UPDATE 2-Mosaic profit nearly triples on strong fertilizer demand
(Updates with global shipments forecasts, China comment, share activity)
By Shubhankar Chakravorty and Rod Nickel
Feb 11 (Reuters) - U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co's fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled, helped by strong demand for phosphates and potash.
The company's shares rose 2.3 percent at $51.94 in morning trading in New York on Wednesday.
Demand for some fertilizers has grown as low prices and thin inventories of nutrients to boost crop growth attract buyers. Rival Potash Corp of Saskatchewan last month reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit.
Mosaic, the world's largest producer of finished phosphate products, expects global phosphate shipments by all producers to range from 64.5 million to 66.5 million tonnes, possibly a record high after last year's estimated 64.6 million.
Global potash shipments may range between 58 million and 60 million tonnes, down from last year's 61.1 million.
Mosaic looks to sell 2.8 to 3.1 million tonnes of phosphates at $440 to $465 per tonne in the current quarter.
The company sold 2.7 million tonnes of phosphate at an average price of $414 per tonne in the first quarter last year. Continued...