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Nutrien Earnings Fall 7% Amid ‘Historic’ Drop In Potash Shipments

Nutrien Ltd. (NTR) has reported disappointing fourth-quarter financial results due to a “historic” decline in potash shipments.

The Saskatoon-based company, which is the largest fertilizer producer in the world, said it earned $1.1 billion in Q4 2022, down 7% from the same period a year earlier.

Nutrien also said that it will delay a previously announced plan to ramp up its potash production this year as global demand slumps.

The company had planned to boost its annual potash production to 18 million tonnes by 2025. The company says it is now likely to reach that milestone by 2026.

The planned potash increase would represent growth of more than five million tonnes, or 40%, compared to 2020 production levels.

The company achieved record earnings in 2021 and benefitted when fertilizer prices spike in March 2022 as Russia invaded Ukraine.

However, in the second half of 2022, Nutrien experienced what executives call a “historic” drop in potash sales as farmers around the world postponed fertilizer purchases due to high prices.

Last year's cold spring in North America also shortened the crop planting season and led to less fertilizer demand.

Nutrien's estimate for global potash shipments in 2023 stands at 63 million to 67 million tonnes, which is below the historical average of 70 million tonnes.

Nutrien’s stock has risen 7% over the past 12 months to reach $104.88 per share.