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PhosAgro Increases Agrochemical Production by Nearly 7% in 1Q to Record 3 Million Tonnes

19.04.2024 | News

PhosAgro CEO Mikhail Rybnikov announced at a Management Board meeting that the Group had increased its production of agrochemicals by almost 7% to a record 3 million tonnes in 1Q 2024.

1Q 2024 highlights:

Production of agrochemicals during the quarter increased by 6.9% year-on-year to 3.005 million tonnes. This growth was driven mainly by a 9.2% increase in the production of phosphate-based fertilizers and feed phosphates, to 2.260 million tonnes.

The production of key feedstocks in 1Q 2024 rose 3.6% year-on-year, mainly due to a 5.4% increase in the production of phosphoric acid and a 4.7% increase in the production of sulphuric acid.

Total fertilizer sales in 1Q 2024 increased by 11.5% year-on-year to over 3 million tonnes. At the same time, sales of phosphate-based fertilizers and feed phosphates rose 16%.

PhosAgro CEO Mikhail Rybnikov said:

“Concerning our performance in the previous quarter, I would like to note that our quarterly agrochemical production exceeded 3 million tonnes for the first time in the Company’s history.

“This result was attributable mainly to the fact that our Volkhov production complex reached its design capacity. In the first three months of 2024, our production of phosphate-based fertilizers and feed phosphates increased by 9.2% year-on-year to 2.26 million tonnes.

“The increased output of phosphate-based fertilizers was driven by a rise in the production of phosphoric and sulphuric acids, as well as ammonia.

“Production of phosphoric acid, the main feedstock for making phosphate-based fertilizers, rose 5.4% year-on-year in 1Q 2024 to nearly 900 thousand tonnes. This increase was due to earlier upgrades to production units and more efficient equipment utilisation.

“Sulphuric acid production rose 4.7% in 1Q 2024 to 2.175 million tonnes. This increase was due to the improved operating efficiency of the sulphuric acid production unit in Cherepovets and the commissioning of a new sulphuric acid production facility in Balakovo in late 2023.

“Sales rose over 11% in 1Q 2024, driven by improved production performance, including after the units at our Volkhov site reached their design capacity.

“Phosphate-based fertilizers – complex grades in particular – were mainly responsible for the sales increase. Flexible production lines enabled us to switch production to the grades of NPK/NPS fertilizers that were in demand in the market during the period and to offer customers eco-friendly fertilizers with the right nutrient content.

“We continue to implement our long-term development strategy, which is aimed at constantly expanding and modernising our production facilities. This year, we plan to invest a record RUB 73 billion, which is 14% more than the previous year. For example, last year we revised and expanded our investment project for the long-term development of our production facilities in Balakovo, increasing total financing from RUB 15.6 billion to RUB 27 billion. Following the successful completion of the first two stages of that project, the third stage is in now progress with the establishment of a flexible arrangement for the production of MAP, DAP, NPS and NPK fertilizers and an increase in gross production volumes. Once the third stage is completed, the total output of the Balakovo complex could increase by 28%, depending on the product range. By 2026, we plan to build capacities at our Balakovo facility that can produce nearly 1 million tonnes of complex NPK fertilizers and over 0.5 million tonnes of DAP fertilizers. In 2024, we plan to complete the implementation of projects in Cherepovets and Volkhov to increase the processing of phosphate rock by a total of nearly 400 thousand tonnes.

“In late March, operations began at the +10 m mining level at Apatit’s Kirovsky mine. The project to develop the new underground level got under way at the mine in 2015. It was necessary in order to replace the output of other mining levels being decommissioned at a time when the life of the mine had been extended and, as a result, the Company had to increase the production of apatite-nepheline ore.

“More than RUB 36 billion has been invested in the project, which will bring the total amount of apatite-nepheline ore reserves to be mined to around 300 million tonnes. The new level will help increase the amount of ore mined at the Kirovsky mine to 25 million tonnes by 2025. The level’s capacity is expected to reach 9.4 million tonnes per year by 2028. When its design capacity is reached, the +10 m level will account for 36% of the ore mined at the Kirovsky mine.

“We have also already started the construction of a new mine for the development of the Rasvumchorr Plateau deposit. A total of about RUB 38 billion will be invested in the construction of two start-up facilities. Late this year, we plan to start underground mining in the Gakman section of the Kirovsky mine’s Yukspor deposit.

“It is important to note that, while implementing large-scale investment programmes, we have also been increasing our social and charitable investments. For example, our support for social and charitable projects increased sevenfold over the past 10 years, exceeding RUB 25 billion in 2022–2023. The average wages of our employees increased by 60% between 2021 and 2023, and they were indexed by another 15% in February 2024. We will continue to adhere to the principles of responsible business conduct, which has been the key to our long-term success and to our contribution to the stability and prosperity of the regions where we operate.”

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