UPDATE 1-Mosaic cuts production forecast, cites uncertain China contract

Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:38pm EST

Nov 13 (Reuters) - Fertilizer producer Mosaic Co cut its forecast for phosphate and potash sales on Tuesday, citing uncertain supply contracts with China and India.

The news sent shares of Mosaic down 5.7 percent to $47.85 in after-hours trading.

China has been aggressively negotiating for lower potash prices with Canpotex Ltd, the marketing agency that sells Canadian potash. Canpotex, owned by Potash Corp, Mosaic, and Agrium Inc, is one of the world's largest potash exporters.

So far, neither side has been able to agree on a contract, harming producers.

"We are seeing lower than expected shipments to the export market, in spite of very strong demand in North America for the fall application season," Mosaic Chief Executive Jim Prokopanko said in a statement.

Mosaic now expects to sell 1.3 million to 1.4 million tonnes of potash in its fiscal second quarter, down from a previous forecast of 1.6 million to 1.9 million tonnes.

Mosaic also now expects to sell 2.9 million to 3.1 million tonnes of phosphate, down from a previous forecast of 3 million to 3.4 million tonnes.

Phosphate is the second-most important fertilizer for farmers to apply, after nitrogen. Potash is the third.

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