During an earning call on January 26, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan CEO William J. Doyle said a decision has yet to be made on a potash export facility on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert.
The proposed Canpotex export terminal, along with a rail and road corridor on the island, is currently in the midst of an environmental assessment. Potash of Saskatchewan is one of three companies that wholly owns Canpotex, and Doyle said there are market factors that will also be considered in any decision to build or not build.
“This is long-term planning because you don’t built greenfield port facility in a couple of days either. So we need to look at this Prince Rupert very carefully. We haven’t made a decision there. But there is a potential opportunity to have a major new terminal there that we think could be very exciting, so all the conditions are right,” he said during the call, noting that the Ridley Terminal facility would work well with the new agreement signed with CN.
“Our business is growing despite short-term fluctuations. And we really think that as we go forward here over the next five years…We see a lot of growth.”
According to Doyle, the company has already seen growth in the past 12 months, both in terms of volume and in terms of value. Potash of Saskatchewan shipped nine million tonnes in 2011, an increase of five per cent from 2010, and the average price increased by $108 during the year. The company also set a record in terms of cash flow from operations, which sat at $3.5 billion.
However, Doyle noted that the fourth quarter of 2011 saw potash purchasing slow in Asia, and uncertainty in India, coupled with a weakened rupee, is impacting demand there. He expects those challenges to carry over into the first quarter of 2012, but to turn around as the year progresses.
“While this year is starting slowly, we believe 2012 is likely to be the mirror image of last year, with a slow start in the first quarter, followed by increasing demand as the year progresses. We expect a record year for global potash shipments and project PotashCorp sales of 9.2 million to 10 million tonnes,” he said.
Quotes courtesy of www.seekingalpha.com