US corn plantings to fall again in 2015 - a bit
US corn sowings may fall again next year, but will remain above long-term average levels, CF Industries said as it forecast strong demand for nitrogen fertilizers, in the face of growing imports from China.
US growers will in 2015 plant "over 90m acres" of corn, CF said in its first forecast for plantings next year of a crop which, being nutrient-intensive, has a particular impact on prospects for fertilizer companies.
The estimate, which compares with the 91.6m acres planted this year, leaves scope for a third successive fall in sowings of the grain, whose popularity with farmers has come into question thanks to a fall in prices to their lowest since 2010.
Already, estimates are retreating for South American sowings, starting next month, ahead of harvest early in 2015.
CF's figure also allows for some fall below the 91.0m acres that the US Department of Agriculture has pencilled in for US corn sowings next season, for which it has forecast values falling further, to an average of $3.30 a bushel, in terms of what farmers receive.
Nonetheless, a figure above 90m acres would exceed levels which averaged 82.8m acres from 2001-10, before soaring prices encouraged sowings to jump to 97.16m acres in 2012, the highest since World War II.
"We expect robust nitrogen demand during the second half of 2014," Tony Will, the CF Industries chief executive, said.
"With the necessity of annual nitrogen application, and historically low fertilizer costs relative to crop revenue, farmers continue to have strong incentives to apply appropriate levels of nitrogen."
The comments follow an April-to-June quarter which proved mixed for CF's sales volumes, with ammonia uptake soaring 33% to 1.11m tonnes, but in part at the expense of more expensive UAN (urea ammonium nitrate) for which volumes dropped 6% to 1.53m tonnes.
Sales volumes of urea itself fell 4% to 677,000 tonnes, reflecting smaller inventories coming into the quarter, which also allowed North American prices of the nutrient to trade at a premium of $10-30 per tonne to international values.
Nonetheless, group revenues dropped 14% to $1.47bn, down to lower prices, with all fertilizer markets feeling some effect from the break-up of the Belarusian Potash Company cartel last year, although a build-up of inventories of ammonia in North America hit values of that nutrient in particular.
CF sold ammonia at an average of $544 a tonne during the quarter, a 23% decline year on year, while values of urea were, ats $396 a tonne, up 3%.
Earnings fell 37% to $312.6m, equivalent to $6.10 per share, short of the $6.71-a-share result that analysts had expected.
Urea price fall ahead
CF forecast an end ahead to the urea price premium, as exports from China ramp-up, expected to rise 2m tonnes to 10m tonnes this year to the world market.
"Imports are expected to increase in the second half of the year and prices in North America are anticipated to decline toward parity with international delivered prices," Illinois-based CF said.
However, it forecast a "positive" outlook for the group, supported by the long-term need to improve crop production to meet world demand, and unveiled a $1bn share repurchase programme and a 50% hike to $1.50 a share in its quarterly dividend.
"Our belief in the sustainability of our cash flows and our dedication to growing shareholder value is evidenced by our capital deployment actions," Mr. Will said.
volume of corn plantings won't be down much, watch and see!
but margins will be greatly increased plus CF has publicly came out and said they want to buy out company in nitrogen market. RNF is perfect fit and is ripe to with kicking out top guy and hedge funds on board that want to sell it.
sorry but fundamentals point to big earnings and distributions for 2015. Gas hedge here was 5+ thru end of year, next year they will get gas at 3.70, what a big increase in margins that will provide along with all the improvements they capitalized on to improve efficiency at plants.
analyst are increasing earnings estimates here to 1.33 next year which is up from .88 this year. some of that is because margins will increase due to much lower nat gas prices and some because prices received for nitrogen will be up. Who to believe, analyst who follow industry for living or joe Smo on message board....hmmm! Selling at year end is tax loss selling as stock is way down, so i don't read much into the gyrations going on in december.
Finally!!! This is good news as hedge fund that wants to sell off RNF will get its way!
CF has said it wants to buy nitrogen companies, stars are aligning up now!
farmers will still plant and still need fertilizer, unless the govt pays them to idle land they will grow something on it! sounds like you need to take farm econ 101!
Noticed the hedge at RNF at higher levels till end of the year but those will roll off and now nat gas is much lower so margins will increase so go spew your hate somewhere else!
corn and soybeans will be planted no matter what price they are and fertilizer will be demanded. Nat gas prices are a big component of making fertilizer and the lower they are the bigger the margins will be for making profits. This year end selling is driven by tax loss selling and not profitability, watch for big rebound into January if not sooner.
great buy down here, RNF is dirt cheap, tax loss selling is about over with
notice the upgrades starting to happen going into next years growing season and big earnings / distributions rebound. Financially RNF has improved greatly, great opportunity for nice rebound in stock.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Rentech Nitrogen Partners (RNF) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Sell to Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate RENTECH NITROGEN PARTNERS LP (RNF) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."