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Analyzing Nitrogen Fertilizer Shipment Growth in 1Q17

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Nitrogen fertilizer shipment

Previously in this series, we looked at fertilizer producers’ (MXI) top line performances in 1Q17. For fertilizer companies, revenue is a function of shipments and fertilizers’ average realized prices. While many companies sell multiple types of fertilizers, we’ll compare performances according to individual NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) fertilizer types.

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Median shipment growth

In 1Q17, shipments for overall nitrogen fertilizers for the five companies in the above chart rose 17% YoY (year-over-year)—higher than a median of 12% YoY growth in 1Q16.

Companies’ shipments

Terra Nitrogen (TNH) saw the highest growth in shipments. Its shipments rose 45% YoY to 598 thousand metric tons from 411 thousand tons a year ago. CVR Partners (UAN) also saw its shipments rise as much as 32% to 348 thousand metric tons from 263 thousand metric tons.

While the above two companies’ shipments grew higher than the median of 17%, CF Industries’ (CF) nitrogen shipment growth was 17% YoY at 4.3 million metric tons—compared to 3.6 million metric tons a year ago. Agrium’s (AGU) nitrogen segment shipments grew 4% YoY to 772 thousand metric tons from 741 thousand metric tons.

Among the companies in the above chart, PotashCorp (POT) was the only company that experienced a decline. Its nitrogen shipments fell as much as 6% to 1.57 million metric tons from 1.66 million metric tons.

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