By Rod Nickel
Oct 7 (Reuters) - U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co on Monday lowered its outlook for 2013 global potash shipments, citing weaker demand in India and a delay in settling a second-half contract between its export agency Canpotex Ltd and China’s Sinofert Holdings Ltd.
Mosaic Chief Financial Officer Larry Stranghoener, one of several executives speaking to analysts in New York, said the company sees global potash shipments of 54 million to 55 million tonnes, down from its previous estimate of 55 million to 57 million tonnes but higher than 2012’s 51 million.
Potash prices have slipped since mid-summer when Russian producer Uralkali OAO quit its export partnership with Belarus and said it would seek to maximize sales volumes.
“I think one year from now, we are going to see the issues that came up in eastern Europe, that’s going to be ancient history, life’s going to go on,” said Chief Executive Officer Jim Prokopanko.
“I think we’ll see a recovery.”
For 2014, Mosaic, the second largest North American potash producer after Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, sees global potash shipments rebounding to 57 million-59 million tonnes.
Potash Corp, Mosaic and Agrium Inc sell potash to offshore markets through the export consortium Canpotex.
Mosaic shares fell 1 percent in New York to $45.64.
Mosaic also lowered its 2013 outlook for global phosphate shipments by about 2 million tonnes to 63 million-64 million tonnes, versus 63 million tonnes in 2012, mainly due to a decline in shipments to India. For 2014, Mosaic, the world’s largest producer of finished phosphate products, expects global shipments to rise to 64 million-66 million tonnes.
Shipments of crop nutrients to India have taken a hit because of the decline of the rupee, which has made imported products more expensive there.
Mosaic and Potash Corp disbanded their joint exporter of North American phosphate, PhosChem, last week. Rick McLellan, Mosaic’s senior vice president, commercial, said the decision was made because Mosaic was now providing more than 90 percent of the association’s volume.
Last month, Mosaic cut its third-quarter sales and price outlooks for potash and phosphate, citing the effects of the BPC breakup.