Intrepid to up 2024 potash output 10-15pc

  • Market: Fertilizers
  • 08/03/24

US fertilizer producer Intrepid Potash plans to increase its output this year by 10-15pc after seeing a large decline in 2023.

Intrepid last year produced 224,000 short tons (st) of potash, down by 17pc from 2022, and during the fourth quarter of 2023 produced 79,000st, down from 25pc in the fourth quarter of 2022. The declining trend was the result of higher producing costs and lower potash prices, but the company expects the spring application season to increase demand. The failure of an extraction well in New Mexico was also attributed to the output decline and is currently being replaced.

After this year's planned 10-15pc increase, the company plans an additional 10-15pc increase in 2025.

"Market potash pricing has also recently stabilized at levels that are 35pc higher than the previous cycle, and we expect our sales to remain steady ahead of spring applications," said to Intrepid chief executive Robert Jornayvaz.

Intrepid expects to sell 65,000-70,000st of potash in the first quarter of 2024. The producer sold 45,000st during the fourth quarter, down by 10pc from the fourth quarter in 2022, and sold 258,000st in 2023, up by 16pc from 2022.

Total sales for the fourth quarter were $56.7mn, down from $66.7mn a year earlier. Full year 2023 sales were $279.1mn, down from $337.6mn a year earlier. Intrepid posted a net loss of $37.3mn for the fourth quarter, compared with a net profit of $4mn a year earlier.

Capital expenditures for 2023 were on the lower end of Intrepid's guidance at $65.1mn while 2024 spending guidance will range from $40mn-50mn. The slowdown in spending will be a result of the company focusing to complete projects such as the HB Solution Mine and the Intrepid South sand project in New Mexico and the Brine Recovery Mine in Utah.

"Our growth capital is focused on improving the production rates at our solar solution potash assets, which on a combined basis, have had a declining production profile since 2017," the company said.


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