Nutrien reports $587M US loss in Q3, potash earnings drop 19 per cent

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A major ag company based in Saskatoon is reporting losses in its third quarter earnings report.

On Monday, Nutrien reported a third-quarter net loss of $587 million US. The company said that was due to an $832 million US write-down in the value of its phosphate fertilizer operations.

The loss equates to $1.03 per diluted share, compared with earnings of $141 million or 24 cents per share in the same three months a year ago.

Adjusted earnings from its potash operations were down 19 per cent in the third quarter compared to last year.

While the company said potash sales were strong, lower net realized selling prices offset any gains.

The company said it expects global potash shipments and consumption to grow by about 2 million tonnes from last year.

As a result, it is maintaining its shipment forecast of between 65 and 67 million tonnes.

Nutrien said this fall will be a strong application season for potash as farmers across North America and China use the fertilizer on their fields.

The company said global phosphate prices have trended higher due to strong demand in India and Brazil and trade flow changes due to countervailing duty investigations in the United States.

But the company said the market is oversupplied, which could limit a long-term price recovery.

It is reporting sales in the three months ended Sept. 30 of $4.2 billion, up from $4.17 billion in the year-earlier period.