Nutrien announces robust first quarter results for 2024

River Landing is located in the downtown area of Saskatoon along the South Saskatchewan River.

Nutrien Ltd. (TSX and NYSE: NTR) announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2024. The company reported net earnings of $165 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, and an adjusted EBITDA of $1.1 billion. Adjusted net earnings were $0.46 per share.

The company’s performance in the quarter was bolstered by strong grower demand for crop inputs, increased global potash shipments, higher fertilizer operating rates, and reduced costs. Nutrien’s President and CEO, Ken Seitz, highlighted the efficiency of their production assets and distribution network, stating, “We continued to see strong crop input demand, a normalization of product margins for our North American Retail business and increased global potash shipments in the first quarter. Our results highlighted the capabilities of our flexible, low-cost production assets and downstream distribution network to efficiently supply our customers’ needs.”

Despite a decline in net earnings compared to the same period in 2023, primarily due to lower net fertilizer selling prices, this was partially offset by increased Retail earnings, higher fertilizer sales volumes, and lower natural gas costs. The Retail segment, Nutrien Ag Solutions, saw its adjusted EBITDA increase to $77 million, primarily due to higher gross margins for crop nutrients and crop protection products, supported by robust grower demand and normalized product margins in North America.

However, the Potash and Nitrogen segments experienced declines in adjusted EBITDA due to lower net selling prices, despite higher sales volumes and reduced costs. Potash adjusted EBITDA fell to $530 million, while Nitrogen adjusted EBITDA decreased to $464 million. The company also reported increased ammonia production due to higher utilization rates in Trinidad.

In a strategic move to focus more on its core businesses, Nutrien initiated a process to divest its Retail assets in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. This decision aims to enhance the quality of earnings and free cash flow, reflecting the company’s strategy to strengthen its core operations.

Looking ahead, Nutrien maintains its full-year 2024 guidance for Retail adjusted EBITDA and fertilizer sales volumes, anticipating growth in both areas compared to the previous year. The company expects US corn plantings to be around 90 million acres and soybean plantings at approximately 87 million acres in 2024. Fertilizer application rates have been strong, although wet weather has recently delayed progress in the Corn Belt.

Globally, the potash market remains balanced with strong demand, and nitrogen markets have fluctuated due to various factors, including seasonal buying patterns and production outages. The company continues to see strong potash demand in North America and Southeast Asia, while global phosphate fertilizer prices have softened in the second quarter due to lower seasonal demand.

Nutrien’s financial and operational guidance remains steady, with Retail adjusted EBITDA expected to be between $1.65 billion and $1.85 billion. The guidance reflects increased crop nutrient sales volumes and margins in North America and improved crop input margins in Brazil during the latter half of the year. Potash sales volumes are forecasted to be between 13.0 million and 13.8 million tonnes, with nitrogen sales volumes expected to be between 10.6 million and 11.2 million tonnes.

Add Fertilizer Daily to your followed sources to get market news first  

Enjoyed the story?

Once a week, our subscribers get their hands first on hottest fertilizer and agriculture news. Don’t miss it!