Agrium Inc. has shut-in production at its Fort Saskatchewan nitrogen facility and has further curtailed production at other major nitrogen and phosphate plants in North America. The temporary curtailments are necessary due to a significant build in North American fertilizer inventories and declining available storage capacity.
According to a company press release, weakening global nutrients and crop prices and a significant deferral of wholesale nutrient purchases has resulted in further sales volume reductions and production curtailments that will affect earnings contributions from its wholesale business unit.
The press release also notes that retail nutrient sales volumes have also been impacted by purchase deferrals by growers in the fourth quarter, but have been offset by higher per-tonne margins. The company’s seed and crop protection businesses have not been impacted by the current situation.