December 1, 2008 / 11:42 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Mosaic says fertilizer sales soft, shares fall

(Adds share activity, details from news release)

HOUSTON, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Mosaic Co (MOS.N) on Monday said its fiscal second-quarter fertilizer sales were soft, a condition that is expected to continue into the third quarter.

The Plymouth, Minnesota company also said it is withdrawing its sales forecasts for the balance of 2009, citing market uncertainty.

Shares of the Plymouth, Minnesota company fell 8 percent in post-market trade.

Due to soft market conditions, phosphate sales volumes for the second quarter ended Nov. 30 were about 1.3 million tonnes, or about 800,000 tonnes lower than the prior quarter, the company said.

Potash sales volumes for the second quarter were approximately 1.7 million tonnes down from 1.9 million tonnes in the first quarter. The average selling price was $525 per tonne, below company’s forecast range of $560 to $620 per tonne.

“Several factors have impacted worldwide crop nutrient demand, including lower grain and oilseed prices, a late North American harvest, congested distribution supply chains, and the unprecedented global economic and credit downturn which has seen business moderate in nearly all sectors,” Jim Prokopanko, chief executive officer, said.

As announced in October, Mosaic is reducing phosphate production by about one million tonnes through December 2008. The company said its is prepared to cut phosphate production another 1 million tonnes if slow market conditions persist. (Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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