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Mosaic plans deeper phosphate output cuts amid high inventories

Mosaic Co. will curtail phosphate production at its Central Florida facilities by 150,000 tonnes per month until markets improve.

The reduction is in addition to the 500,000 tonnes of phosphate output idled in Louisiana from Oct. 1, and the company said it will also continue to operate at lower rates in its Canadian potash business.

The company said Dec. 19 that its potash and phosphates shipment volumes for the fourth quarter are expected to be "modestly" lower than its most recent guidance, and the per-tonne gross margin for the phosphates segment is anticipated to be "significantly" below forecasts due to low volumes and realized prices.

President and CEO Joc O'Rourke said the company is experiencing high inventories and weak prices due to a "third consecutive disappointing application season in North America."

"Mosaic will not produce at high rates when we are unable to realize reasonable prices," the executive said, adding that the extended output cuts would help with "balancing the global supply-and-demand picture as we move into 2020."