Uralkali Announces Q1 2016 Key Figures


Uralkali (“the Company”, MICEX: URKA), one of the world’s largest potash producers, today announced its unaudited IFRS key figures for the three months ended 31 March 2016.


  • Revenue down 28% y-o-y to US$ 521 million
  • Net revenue1 down 28% y-o-y to US$ 441 million
  • Production down 4% y-o-y to 2.6 million tonnes of potassium chloride (KCl)
  • Sales volumes down 8% y-o-y to 2.3 million tonnes of KCl
  • Average FCA export price down 23% y-o-y to US$ 196 per tonne of KCl


  • In March, Uralkaliís completed an open market buyback programme, which began on 24 November 2015. The total amount of the programme was limited to 6.5% of the Companyís share capital. Upon completion of the programme, 4.89% of the Companyís share capital had been purchased. As of the beginning of April 2016, Uralkaliís free float (including shares represented by GDRs) constituted 8.96% of the Companyís share capital.
  • In March 2016, Uralkali signed an agreement with PJSC Sberbank to open a credit line for a period of up to ten years in the amount of US$ 3.9 billion for the purpose of refinancing earlier credits received from the bank as well as other general corporate purposes. Together with any related agreements, this credit line is secured by pledge of Uralkali shares and GDRs constituting 20.0% of the Companyís share capital to PJSC Sberbank, and by 1 August 2016 up to 8.6% of additional Companyís shares should be pledged to PJSC Sberbank


  • In April, Uralkali signed a US$ 1.2 billion 5-year pre-export facility with 16 international banks
  • In May, the Companyís Board of Directors approved another open market buyback programme. The shares and GDRs to be acquired under the programme will not exceed 4% of the Companyís share capital. The programme will run between 19 May and 19 September 2016
  • In June, Uralkaliís Annual General Meeting decided not to pay dividends for 2015

Dmitry Osipov, Uralkali CEO, commented:

Although currently there is a significant fall in demand for potash fertilisers, combined with increased competition on the spot market, and the lack of price targets, we are still optimistic about the market in the near future.†We continue to monitor the market closely and are ready to respond flexibly to any changes.

The key Q1 2016 figures were as follows:

Q1 2016

Q1 2015

FY 2015

Revenue (US$ million)




Net revenue (US$ million)




Average export potash price, FCA, US$




Production (KCl, million tonnes)




Sales volume (KCl, million tonnes)


— Domestic

ó Export










Business and Financial Review

In the first quarter of 2016, market conditions in the potash industry remained challenging. Purchase volumes decreased significantly in almost all key markets due to the absence of long-term contracts with India and China.

Additional negative factors were substantial carry-over stocks held by importers, unfavourable economic conditions, as well as the devaluation of national currencies. The high level of competition seen in 2015 persisted in the first quarter of this year, which resulted in a sharp drop in potash prices, particularly in premium markets. As a result, the average export price in Q1 2016 fell 23% compared to the same period in 2015.

Altogether, this had a negative impact on Uralkaliís key financial indicators, and the Companyís revenue and net revenue both declined by almost a third year-on-year.

Uralkali continues to implement its capacity development programme and carry out comprehensive monitoring of conditions at the Berezniki-1 and Solikamsk-2 mines. All operations are proceeding as usual and are on schedule.

Market Review and Outlook2

The lack of direction in the absence of supply contracts with China and India for 2016, high carry-over potash inventories, intense competition, temporary suspension of potash import by India government, sparked cautiousness among customers who took a wait-and-see approach, delaying purchases. The combination of these factors resulted in lower y-o-y potash prices and weak potash demand in 1H 2016.

In China, customers largely worked through existing potash inventories in Q1 2016. Potash stocks are estimated to have dropped to 4.0 million tonnes by end May 2016. The firming demand from the Chinese NPK sector during spring season was a supportive factor. Given record deliveries in 2015 which created elevated stocks, we anticipate potash deliveries will be in the range of 13.5 ó 14.0 million tonnes in 2016 compared to 16.7 million tonnes in 2015.

In India, shipments from the 2015/2016 contracts continued to arrive at the ports. The market saw significant decline in import volumes in the first five months of this year due to high carry-over stocks and temporary suspension of potash import by Indian government in Q1 2016. Expected good monsoon season, recent stabilisation of Indian rupee against US dollar are likely to lead to better potash consumption this year compared to the previous year. Owing to high potash carryover stocks, 2016 potash imports may be below 2015 level of estimated 3.9 million tonnes.

Purchasing activity in Southeast Asia was slow as demand has been impacted by adverse weather conditions, and delayed China contract. High palm oil prices and strengthening of local currencies against US dollar are supportive for potash demand. Given weak potash demand in 1H 2016, we expect potash import volumes are expected to decline slightly this year compared to the previous year.

Delays in fertiliser application during the spring season due to unfavourable weather conditions in Western Europe and just-in-time buying pattern due to absence of China contract resulted in depressed European demand in 1H 2016. However, this demand has most likely just been postponed, and stronger buying activity is expected in 2H 2016. EMEA&FSU demand is expected to rise by 2-3% y-o-y in 2016 on the back of improved demand in Eastern Europe and Russia. In Western & Central Europe, 2016 demand may slightly ease compared to 2015 level.

Latin America used the first quarter to draw down inventories built in 2015. There are clear signs of stabilisation in Brazilian potash demand which is supported by higher crop prices and more stable Brazilian real relative to US dollar. In 2016, we expect a moderate increase in demand driven by favourable crop economics and improved credit availability in Brazil.

In North America, potash demand was healthy during spring season. We anticipate demand recovery this year. Increase in planted acreage and lower nutrient levels after extremely weak 2015 are supportive factors for potash demand in 2016.

We currently expect global potash demand to be down to 58-60 million tonnes this year from 61 million tonnes in 2015, reflecting industry destocking, delayed China contract and adverse weather conditions in some regions. The upside to potash demand in 2016 depends on the timing of China and India contracts, and macroeconomic issues in some markets.

Uralkali (www.uralkali.com) is one of the worldís largest potash producers and exporters. The Companyís assets consist of 5 mines and 7 ore-treatment mills situated in the towns of Berezniki and Solikamsk (Perm Territory, Russia). Uralkali employs ca.11,000 people (in the main production unit). Uralkaliís shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange.

1Net revenue represents revenue net of freight, railway tariffs and transshipment costs

2Sources: Uralkaliís estimates, the IFA data, customs statistics, financial statements of potash producers.

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Smoking in mines is prohibited.
Work at heights without wearing a safety harness is prohibited.
Work in electrical installations under voltage is prohibited.
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