Mosaic sees fertilizer sales dip

(Reuters) — Fertilizer sales look to slide through the rest of the year as greater shipments into key markets by rivals in Belarus and China boost competition, Mosaic Co. says.

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 increased phosphate exports to India, and Belarus’s state-owned fertilizer company, Belaruskali, shipped a “disrupting” amount of potash into Mosaic’s U.S. backyard, said chief executive officer Joc O’Rourke.

Mosaic said its sales of phosphate and potash dipped in the third quarter and look lower for the current fourth quarter.

However, the company predicts record-high global phosphate shipments this year and next, and potash sales by all sellers will finish the year with the second-highest total ever.

O’Rourke said he is “not particularly concerned” about losing market share.

Excluding one-time items, Mosaic earned US62 cents per share in the third quarter, which is higher than the average analyst estimate of 53 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.

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