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U.S. fertilizer producer Mosaic Co. (MOS-N) reported a 26 percent rise in third-quarter profit, driven by higher potash and phosphate volumes, and said it expects producer inventories to be drawn down in coming months.
The company is seeing strong demand and improving sentiment in most of its geographies, said Chief Executive Jim Prokopanko.
Mosaic said it expects to sell 2.3 million to 2.6 million tonnes of potash in the current quarter. It sold 1.8 million tonnes in the third quarter ended Feb. 28. The company expects average selling prices for phosphates to be flat.
Net profit attributable to Mosaic in the third quarter rose to $344.6 million US, or 81 cents per share, from $273.3 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier.
The results for the latest quarter included a negative impact from items including anti-trust settlements and adjustments for asset retirement obligations amounting to 7 cents per share.
Net sales rose 2 percent to $2.24 billion.
Mosaic is the world's largest producer of finished phosphate products and the second-largest rock phosphate producer after Morocco's state-run OCP.
Potash sales rose 37 percent to $758 million, while phosphates sales were $1.5 billion, down 9 percent due to lower prices of finished products.
The company said its gross margin improved to $568 million, or 25 percent of net sales, from $522 million, or 24 percent of net sales, due to higher potash volumes and lower phosphate raw material costs.