UPDATE 2-Mosaic sees sliding fertilizer sales; cost-cutting boosts profit
(Updates with CEO interview, share activity, sales outlook)
By Shubhankar Chakravorty and Rod Nickel
Nov 3 (Reuters) - Fertilizer sales look to slide through the rest of the year, U.S. producer Mosaic Co said on Tuesday, as greater shipments into key markets by rivals in Belarus and China boost competition.
The world's largest producer of finished phosphate products reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by cost-cutting.
Fertilizer prices have fallen as the strong U.S. dollar makes phosphate and potash more expensive in export markets such as Brazil and India.
At the same time, Chinese companies have boosted phosphate exports to India while state-owned fertilizer company Belaruskali earlier this year shipped a "disrupting" amount of potash into Mosaic's U.S. backyard, Chief Executive Joc O'Rourke said in an interview.
Mosaic said its sales of phosphate and potash dipped in the third quarter and look lower for the current fourth quarter. But globally, Mosaic predicts record-high phosphate shipments this year and next, and potash sales by all sellers combined to finish 2015 with the second-highest total ever.
O'Rourke, who took the top job in August, said he is "not particularly concerned" about losing market share.
"When you maximize value, there's certain business you walk away from because it's not giving you the return you want." Continued...