Winnipeg | Reuters — Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien said Monday it would boost its 2021 potash output by 500,000 tonnes, after the European Union and others imposed new trade sanctions on Belarus.
Nutrien’s increase takes its potash sales outlook this year to a record-high range of 13.3 million to 13.8 million tonnes, and follows a previous 500,000-tonne production increase announced this month. The company does not disclose overall production guidance.
Western powers, including Canada, hit Belarus with new sanctions Monday in a co-ordinated response to Minsk’s forced landing of a Ryanair plane last month to arrest a journalist on board.
The sanctions include a ban on potash imports from Belarus, where state-owned Belaruskali is one of the world’s biggest producers, along with Nutrien. Potash prices have strengthened this year on rising demand, as farmers pocket stronger crop prices and look to maximize yields.
Saskatoon-based Nutrien said that by raising production, it was also factoring in rivals’ problems. U.S.-based Mosaic Co. this month cut production at its biggest potash mine, near Esterhazy in southeastern Saskatchewan, due to flood risks.
“In response to continued tightening in global potash market conditions, we are flexing our low-cost network of six mines to draw upon our available capacity in a timely manner,” Nutrien said in a release Monday.
The company said it expects most of the increased production to take place in the fourth quarter, with some of that added output to be sold in early 2022.
Nutrien on Monday also boosted first-half adjusted net earnings-per-share guidance to a range of $2.30-$2.50, from $2-$2.20 previously.
— Rod Nickel is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Winnipeg. Includes files from Glacier FarmMedia Network staff.