Out of the three NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium) fertilizers, nitrogen fertilizers are the most applied fertilizers. In 4Q17, the overall nitrogen shipments of the five companies discussed below moved lower year-over-year.
Nitrogen shipments by companies
Overall, CF Industries’ combined nitrogen segments reported shipment growth of 13% year-over-year to 4.8 million metric tons and were the strongest among the five companies in the above chart. According to the company, it experienced shipment growth in all of its segments, which was driven by higher production volume from its new facilities.
Terra Nitrogen’s (TNH) shipments were almost flat at 0.6% year-over-year at 576,000 metric tons from 572,000 metric tons. On the other hand, CVR Partners’ (UAN) shipment growth fell 1% over the same period to 351,000 tons. Under Nutrien (NTR), both Agrium (AGU) and PotashCorp (POT) experienced year-over-year shipment volume declines. PotashCorp’s nitrogen shipments fell 3.2% year-over-year to 1.6 million metric tons, and Agrium’s nitrogen shipments fell 21% year-over-year to 752 million metric tons.
Agrium’s sales volumes were primarily low due to lower production volumes as a result of planned and unplanned outages for maintenance according to the company. Similarly, PotashCorp’s volumes also fell as a result of lower product availability.
Next, we’ll look at realized fertilizer prices for these companies.