Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s largest fertilizer producer by market value, said 2009 profit will be less than it previously expected after North American sales of the crop nutrient reached “a virtual halt.”
Earnings this year will be $7 to $8 a share, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp. said today in a statement. That’s less than the $10 to $12 a share the company forecast in January and trails the $9.33 average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Chief Executive Officer Bill Doyle temporarily shut down some mines as demand declined, causing the company’s average potash price in North America to more than double to $639.91 a metric ton in the quarter. North American sales volumes of the form of potassium fell 86 percent from a year earlier, and shipments overseas plunged 78 percent.
“In North America, potash fertilizer sales ground to a virtual halt as farmers seemed to expect a price decline similar to those in nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers,” Potash said today in its first-quarter earnings statement....MORE