Mosaic Co. projects brisk movement for P&K as the end of the fertilizer year approaches. Analysts had been predicting a falloff in P&K shipments in response to ongoing drought issues, but shipments during the fall 2012 application season tallied a record 9.8 million tons. Demand for 2012/13 P&K is stronger than expected, and by the close of fiscal 2012/13, shipments will outpace year-ago by as much as 12%.
Part of the reason for the inflated sendouts despite the weather uncertainty was an effort to move as much product during the fall as possible, fearing shipping difficulties on the Mississippi River. The irony is, there have been shipping delays this spring, but instead of low water slowing the flow, it is high water as flooding made spring barge transport problematic.
But 16.4 million tons have already shipped during the first ten months of fiscal 12/13 -- a year-over increase of over 10% -- leaving just 3.4 million tons of P&K to go before projected demand is satisfied. This comes as P&K prices fall in the Monitor's weekly index.
What this suggests is that with the fall application behind us, and southern spring applications nearly complete, the downstream picture may include a few million tons of extra product -- leaving some downside room for P&K near-term.