PotashCorp hurt by fall in income from overseas investments

(Reuters) — Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan cut the top end of its full-year earnings forecast range and the company reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as income fell from its overseas investments.

The price of potash plunged this year, hurting the profits of companies producing the crop nutrient.

The breakup of global potash trading partnership Belarusian Potash Co. nearly a year ago accelerated the price fall as it created more competition among producers.

PotashCorp, the world’s biggest fertilizer company by market value, said average realized price for potash fell nine percent to $281 per ton in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. The crop nutrient sold for as much as $900 in 2008.

However, the company said the global potash industry was now expected to ship 58 to 60 million tonnes in 2014, higher than the 56.5 to 58 million tonnes it had estimated earlier.

“While recent weakness in crop prices is expected to result in some reduction to global crop acreage, we believe potash remains an affordable and necessary investment for growers as they look to offset lower prices by enhancing yields,” PotashCorp said.

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