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Why PotashCorp’s Phosphate Shipments Grew in 3Q17

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Shipment growth

In 3Q17, PotashCorp’s (POT) Phosphate segment shipment volumes saw mid-single-digit growth on a YoY (year-over-year) basis, rising 5% to 809 thousand metric tons, up from 769 thousand metric tons in 3Q16.

PotashCorp sells its phosphate products as fertilizers for feed and for industrial users. The company’s fertilizer sub-segment shipments saw a 4% growth YoY to 559 thousand metric tons, up from 537 thousand metric tons in 3Q16. The feed and industrial sub-segment shipments grew ~8% YoY to 250 thousand metric tons, up from 232 thousand metric tons in 3Q16.

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Outlook

The Phosphate segment’s outlook looks as if it will remain weak for the rest of this year. During POT’s 3Q17 earnings call, President Jochen E. Tilk stated that “phosphate markets remain relatively subdued, which is expected to impact our results for the remainder of the year.”

Given this outlook, it’s not surprising that phosphate peer (MOO) Mosaic (MOS) has been among the worst performers so far this year, compared with CF Industries (CF) and Agrium (AGU), which have little or no exposure to phosphate fertilizers.

Next, we’ll look at phosphate realized prices.

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