In 3Q16, Agrium’s (AGU) Retail segment contributed 84% of the company’s gross profit, with crop protection and crop nutrients making up the majority of the segment’s sales. Remember, for commodity companies like Agrium, Intrepid Potash (IPI), Mosaic (MOS), and Israel Chemicals (ICL), revenue is a function of shipments and prices. So let’s look now at shipments for Agrium’s Retail segment shipments in 3Q16.
Please note that the discussion below only talks about NPK (MOO) shipments under the Retail sales segment, which is of key value to the PotashCorp merger. (Check out Market Realist’s PotashCorp and Agrium: Another Merger in the Agribusiness Space to know more.)
Shipments under the Retail Crop Nutrients segment grew 4% YoY (year-over-year) to 1.2 million tons from 1.1 million tons in 3Q15. The international sub-segment contributed the most to this growth, with an 18.7% YoY rise in shipments, from 342,000 tons in 3Q15 to 406,000 tons in 3Q16.
However, shipments from the domestic market fell 2.6% YoY during 3Q16 to 757,000 tons, down from 777,000 tons a year ago in 3Q15. Agrium’s Retail shipments mostly come from the domestic (North American) market, which accounted for 65% of the segment’s total shipment volume in 3Q16. The rest came from international markets.
But despite this growth in shipments, Retail segment sales fell ~14% during the quarter due to lower realized fertilizer prices during the quarter.
We’ll look at the average realized prices for Agrium’s Retail segment in the next part of the series.