At an analyst day with investors, Mosaic Company Chief Financial Officer Larry Stranghoener said the company was projecting that potash fertilizer demand would be down slightly in 2012 compared with 2011.
Mosaic’s previous outlook had continued to forecast record potash demand in 2012. The announcement follows just weeks after the company announced it was curtailing production.
In Wednesday’s announcement Stranghoener also said the company did not expect to extend production cuts past May, which it had originally forecasted. Mosaic is one of many potash fertilizer companies who have curtailed production in the first quarter of 2012 due to weaker prices and lower than expected demand. Mosaic announced in early February it would curtail production 20 percent between February and May.
Mosaic, which is also the world's largest phosphate fertilizer producer, sees more upside to phosphate fertilizer prices in the near term, Chief Executive Jim Prokopanko told Dow Jones Newswire. The potash market, by contrast, doesn't have its "legs" under it yet, he said.
He said buying by China, which has delayed its potash purchases recently, will eventually change the market's dynamics.
"Once it gets going, it's going to be tough to hold it back," he said.