Fertilizer maker Mosaic cuts phosphate production

Wed Feb 3, 2016 5:22pm EST
 
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba Feb 3 (Reuters) - U.S.-based fertilizer producer Mosaic Co said on Wednesday it would cut output of phosphates by up to 400,000 tonnes with rotating plant shutdowns in the first quarter, due to weak demand.

Fertilizer producers have seen profits hit by falling prices, triggered in part by weak currencies in importing countries such as Brazil.

"The long-term positive outlook for phosphates has not changed, but we are adjusting our production levels to match immediate demand and manage our margins," said Mosaic Chief Executive Officer Joc O'Rourke, in a statement.

Most of Mosaic's phosphate operations are in Florida.

In October, Mosaic laid off 8 percent of its workforce at a Canadian potash mine and last month Potash Corp of Saskatchewan said it would shut in its newest potash mine, in eastern Canada.

Mosaic shares rose slightly on the New York Stock Exchange after normal trading hours. During the session, they had spiked 8.3 percent in a short-covering rally in some mining stocks.

Mosaic is the world's largest producer of finished phosphate products and North America's second-biggest potash producer. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by David Gregorio)