Mosaic enjoys higher potash demand and prices
Houston, 22 February (Argus) — A prolonged fall application period and subsequent strong demand for winter fill volumes in the US boosted Mosaic's potash sales and supported higher production and prices during the fourth quarter.
Potash sales volumes for the quarter came in at 2.2mn t, up by 200,000t from the previous year and hitting the top end of the company's guidance for the quarter. Mosaic operated at 87pc of capacity during the quarter, producing 2.1mn t, flat compared with 2016.
Strong demand underpinned Mosaic's average MOP realised prices increasing for the fifth consecutive quarter to $188/t fob plant, up by $19/t year on year. North American fourth quarter MOP prices rose by $10/t from the previous quarter to a two-year high of $205/t.
Mosaic expects first-quarter sales volumes to stay relatively flat compared with last year, at 1.7mn-2mn t.
The expansion of the company's K3 mine in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, continues on schedule, Mosaic said. The company said that the first significant volumes of potash are now being produced from the new 7mn t/yr mine. The company expects to produce 50,000t of potash from the K3 project this year.