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Nutrien takes $587M loss on phosphate fertilizer operation

Global phosphate prices have trended higher from strong demand in India and Brazil, trade flow changes.

November 3, 2020   by CP STAFF

SASKATOON — Nutrien Ltd. is reporting a third-quarter net loss of US$587 million thanks mainly to an $823-million writedown in the value of its phosphate fertilizer operations.

The Saskatoon-based company, which reports its results in US dollars, says its loss equates to $1.03 per diluted share, compared with earnings of $141 million or 24 cents per share in the same three months a year ago.

Nutrien says global phosphate prices have trended higher from strong demand in India and Brazil and trade flow changes due to countervailing duty investigations in the United States.

But the company says it is convinced the market is oversupplied, which could limit a long-term price recovery.

It is reporting sales in the three months ended Sept. 30 of $4.2 billion, up from $4.17 billion in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted earnings from Nutrien’s potash operations fell 19% in the third quarter compared with last year as strong sales volumes and lower costs per tonne were more than offset by lower net realized selling prices.

“Nutrien delivered another quarter of solid operating results with strong fertilizer sales volumes and exceptional growth of orders through our digital agriculture platform, surpassing $1 billion of sales,” said CEO Chuck Magro in a statement.

“Market conditions are improving around the world with higher crop and fertilizer prices, lower expected inventories and strong demand for crop inputs as we finish the year and enter 2021.”

 


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