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Acron Group’s Mineral Fertiliser Output Up 5% in 9M 2019


21 October 2019

Acron Group’s Mineral Fertiliser Output Up 5% in 9M 2019

Group’s Consolidated Output
(including operating results for Acron, Dorogobuzh
and North-Western Phosphorous Company)

Product, ‘000 t 9M 2019 9M 2018 YOY, %
MINERAL FERTILISERS
Ammonia 2,049 1,971 3.9%
Incl. in-house consumption* 1,795 1,606  
Nitrogen fertilisers, including 3,887 3,102 25.3%
Incl. in-house consumption 868 696  
AN 1,628 1,371 18.8%
Incl. in-house consumption 320 265  
Urea 946 724 30.7%
Incl. in-house consumption 548 431  
UAN 1,312 1 007 30.3%
Complex fertilisers, including 1,584 1,880 -15.7%
Incl. in-house consumption 24 33  
NPK 1,495 1,720 -13.1%
Incl. in-house consumption 24 33  
Bulk blends 90 160 -43.9%
Total commercial output for Mineral Fertilisers 4,834 4,619 4.6%
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS
Organic synthesis products, including 370 359 3.0%
Incl. in-house consumption 191 181  
Methanol 78 80 -2.5%
Incl. in-house consumption 70 66  
Formalin 132 132 -0.2%
Incl. in-house consumption 120 114  
Urea-formaldehyde resins 160 147 8.9%
Incl. in-house consumption 1 1  
Non-organic compounds, including: 608 617 -1.5%
Low-density and technical-grade AN 124 128 -3.2%
Industrial urea 96 86 12.6%
Calcium carbonate 342 357 -4.3%
Liquid carbon dioxide 41 41 -1.9%
Argon 5 5 1.7%
Total commercial output for Industrial Products 787 795 -1.0%

PHOSPHATE INPUTS
Apatite concentrate 783 907 -13.7%
Incl. in-house consumption 603 694  
Total commercial output for Apatite Concentrate 180 214 -16.0%
TOTAL COMMERCIAL OUTPUT 5,800 5,628 3.1%

Note: Commercial output is output less in-house consumption.

Chairman of Acron’s Board of Directors Alexander Popov commented on the results:

“In 9M 2019, Acron Group’s total commercial output was up 3% year-on-year to 5,800,000 tonnes, setting a new record, and mineral fertiliser output increased 5% year-on-year to 4,834,000 tonnes.


“Ammonia output was up 4% year-on-year to 2,049,000 tonnes, and the volume of ammonia processed as end products increased to 88%. We plan to finalise upgrades to the ammonia unit at Dorogobuzh in November, increasing its capacity to 130,000 tonnes per annum. The Group’s ammonia output and the volume of processed ammonia continue to grow.


“In the reporting period, Acron Group’s nitrogen fertiliser output was up 25% to 3,887,000 tonnes. Ammonium nitrate output increased 19% to 1,628,000 tonnes due to higher output of nitric acid, which is a key feedstock for ammonium nitrate. This year, we launched two new nitric acid units with production capacity of 135,000 tonnes each at Acron (Veliky Novgorod). Construction of another unit is underway and is expected to be commissioned at the end of this year. In the reporting period, agricultural-grade urea output was up 31% to 946,000 tonnes due to commissioning of a new urea unit in November 2018 and upgrades to existing units. The Group also continued to expand technical-grade urea production, and output was up 13% year-on-year to 96,000 tonnes. Production of UAN based on urea solution increased alongside urea output. In 9M 2019, UAN output was up 30% to 1,312,000 tonnes. In early 2020, we plan to complete the construction of a new urea granulation unit with the goal of making the Group more flexible in allocating its production between AN, urea, and UAN depending on the market environment and thus increasing the profit margin of processed ammonia.


“The Group’s total complex fertiliser output was down 16% year-on-year to 1,584,000 tonnes, and blended fertiliser output fell 44% to 90,000 tonnes, mainly because Dorogobuzh suspended its blend production in response to weaker regional demand. However, in early 2019, the Group brought on stream a new blended fertiliser unit at the Acron production facility in Veliky Novgorod, significantly expanding its product portfolio with blends, which are increasingly popular globally. The Group’s NPK output decreased 13% to 1,495,000 tonnes due to a temporary reduction in apatite concentrate supply from the Oleniy Ruchey mine, which experienced a higher volume of overburden operations year-on-year and lower phosphorus grade of the ore at this stage of underground mine development. That said, apatite concentrate output recovered in Q3 2019, and we expect output to go back up as the underground mine is developed”.

Market Trends

In the third quarter of 2019, global urea prices were down due to a significant increase in exports from China amid seasonal low demand. From January through August 2019, China exported 2.7 million tonnes of urea (against 0.9 million tonnes year-on-year). Baltics prices decreased from $270 to $230 FOB. According to industry experts, Baltics prices for urea will recover to $245 FOB in the fourth quarter due to strong seasonal demand mainly in Brazil, Europe, India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Iraq.


In Q3 2019, AN prices decreased on the back of lower urea prices. UAN prices, which fell in H1 2019 due to weak demand as the United States experienced unfavourable weather conditions, remained stable in Q3 2019.


In the third quarter, NPK prices went down due to lower prices for nitrogen, phosphate and potash fertilisers, while the NPK premium over the basic product basket remained high, at approximately 20%.

Average Indicative Prices, USD/t, FOB Baltic/Black Sea

  Q3 2019 Q2 2019 Q3 2018 Q3 2019 /
Q2 2019

change
Q3 2019 /
Q3 2018

change
NPK 16-16-16 295 305 308 -3.3% -4.4%
AN 196 197 213 -0.6% -8.2%
UAN 142 138 174 3.0% -18.4%
Urea 247 250 263 -1.2% -6.1%
Ammonia 216 223 303 -3.3% -28.9%


  9M 2019 9M 2018 YOY, %
NPK 16-16-16 304 295 3.3%
AN 192 189 1.6%
UAN 152 163 -6.7%
Urea 247 237 3.9%
Ammonia 238 273 -12.7%



Media Contacts:

Sergey Dorofeev
Anastasiya Gromova
Tatiana Smirnova
Public Relations
Phone: +7 (495) 777-08-65 (ext. 5196)

Investor Contacts:

Ilya Popov
Investor Relations
Phone: +7 (495) 745-77-45 (ext. 5252)

Background Information

Acron Group is a leading vertically integrated mineral fertiliser producer in Russia and globally, with chemical production facilities in Veliky Novgorod (Acron) and the Smolensk region (Dorogobuzh). The Group owns and operates a phosphate mine in Murmansk region (North-Western Phosphorous Company, NWPC) and is implementing a potash development project in Perm Krai (Verkhnekamsk Potash Company, VPC). It owns transportation and logistics infrastructure, including three Baltic port terminals and distribution networks in Russia and China. Acron’s subsidiary, North Atlantic Potash Inc. (NAP), holds mining licences for 11 parcels of the potassium salt deposit at Prairie Evaporite, Saskatchewan, Canada. Acron also holds a minority stake (19.8%) in Polish Grupa Azoty, one of the largest chemical producers in Europe.

In 2018, the Group sold 7.3 million tonnes of various products to 67 countries, with Russia, Brazil, Europe and the United States as key markets.

In 2018, the Group posted consolidated IFRS revenue of RUB 108,062 million (USD 1,723 million) and net profit of RUB 13,318 million (USD 212 million). Acron’s shares are on the Level 1 quotation list of the Moscow Exchange and its global depositary receipts are traded at the London Stock Exchange (ticker AKRN). Acron employs approximately 11,000 people.

For more information about Acron Group, please visit www.acron.ru/en.