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Smaller-than-expected loss reported by CF Industries in 4Q17

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World Fertilizer,

According to Reuters, CF Industries Holdings Inc. has reported a smaller than expected loss in 4Q17, selling greater quantities of fertilizer at higher prices.

Reportedly, North America’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producer claimed that its sales volumes for ammonia rose 58.4% in the fourth quarter, reaching 1.2 million t. In addition to this, the average price increased by 2.9% to US$285/t.

According to Reuters, the price of nitrogen fertilizer had been kept low in China for years due to its low-cost coal-based fertilizer producers. However, with the country recently shutting down these producers, the price of nitrogen fertilizer has increased.

CF Industries stated that the price of nitrogen is continuing to increase this year, with demand for urea being driven by Brazil and India. However, the company also reportedly warned that margins could decrease because of the increased cost of oil and freight.

Reuters claims that CF Industries reported a net profit of US$465 million in 4Q17. This is compared to a loss of US$320 million in 4Q16. Reportedly, net profit benefited from a US$491 million one-time gain in the quarter because of changes to US tax laws.

Excluding items, the company reported a US$0.02 loss per share. This is lower than the average analyst estimate of US$0.08 per share according to Thomas Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reuters reports that CF Industries’ net sales in the quarter had rose by 27%, reaching a total of US$1.1 billion. Analysts had reportedly estimated that the company would report revenue of US$977.91 million.

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