Mosaic cuts phosphate production

Reuters –– U.S.-based fertilizer producer Mosaic Co. said Wednesday it would cut output of phosphates by up to 400,000 tonnes with rotating plant shutdowns in the first quarter, due to weak demand.

Fertilizer producers have seen profits hit by falling prices, triggered in part by weak currencies in importing countries such as Brazil.

“The long-term positive outlook for phosphates has not changed, but we are adjusting our production levels to match immediate demand and manage our margins,” Mosaic CEO Joc O’Rourke said in a statement.

Most of Mosaic’s phosphate operations are in Florida.

In October, Mosaic laid off eight per cent of its workforce at a Saskatchewan potash mine; last month PotashCorp said it would shut in its newest potash mine, in New Brunswick.

Mosaic is the world’s largest producer of finished phosphate products and North America’s second-biggest potash producer.

Reporting for Reuters by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg.

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