Major Fertilizer Cuts Planned For 2009

Some of the world’s largest fertilizer companies have announced that they will be cutting production in 2009.

The cuts are due to lower fourth quarter demand and projected further weakening of the market.

Canada-based PotashCorp plans to reduce its 2009 output of potash by 2 million metric tons (MT), beginning to scale back in January. As stated in the Dec. 16 issue of CropLife eNews, Agrium, another Canadian company, has already stopped production at its Fort Saskatchewan facility, which produces about 220,000 MT of ammonia per year and 430,000 MT of urea. It has also reduced production at nitrogen (N) and phosphate plants in North America.

German producer K+S will reduce potash production through the first half of 2009, reducing workers’ hours at its facilities in Hattdorf, Unterbreizbach, and Bergmannssegen-Hugo. Norway-based Yara has temporarily placed a stop on ammonia production at its Billingham, UK, site, along with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) production in Ravenna, Italy, and both ammonia and urea in Le Havre, France, and Ferrara, Italy. Yara will permanently close its Kedainiai, Lithuania NPK production.

U.S.-based Mosaic Co., which planned to reduce phosphate production by 1 million MT through December 2008, has said that it will reduce production by 1 million MT throughout fiscal 2009 if the market remains slow.

(Editor’s note: Look for our annual Fertilizer Outlook in the February 2009 issue of CropLife® magazine.)

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One comment on “Major Fertilizer Cuts Planned For 2009

  1. Anonymous

    Fertilizer is very high in price. What will the reduction in production do to prices? If grain prices don’t improve it will be hard to turn a profit. I have prpaid for my nitrogen for this year.