CF Industries sold 206,000 tons of AN at an average price of $261 per ton in the third quarter of 2012, compared to 243,000 tons at an average price of $269 per ton in the year-ago quarter. Sales volume was down due to lower production compared to the prior year period.
CF Industries continued to benefit from abundant natural gas supply, as its realized natural gas cost averaged $3.34 per MMBtu in the third quarter of 2012, compared to $4.45 during the third quarter of 2011. The year-over-year decline in natural gas cost was due to high natural gas production versus a year ago and the substantial amount of natural gas in storage.
Phosphate net sales totaled $264.2 million, down eight percent from $285.8 million in the 2011 third quarter. Gross margin was $63.4 million, down 26 percent from $85.9 million in the 2011 third quarter. The decrease in gross margin was due to lower prices. Gross margin as a percent of sales was 24 percent, down from 30 percent in the year-earlier quarter.The company sold 517,000 tons of phosphate products in the third quarter of 2012 compared to 505,000 tons in the third quarter of 2011. During the third quarter, DAP and MAP average selling prices were $507 and $521 per ton, respectively, compared to $566 and $567 per ton, respectively, in the prior year period. The two percent increase in volume was due to higher domestic sales as customers sought to rebuild inventory in anticipation of strong demand from high expected corn plantings next year. The increase in domestic shipments was offset partially by lower exports, as sales to Central and South America were below prior year levels. Average prices for phosphate declined from the prior year period due to lower global demand. CF Industries’ Plant City, Florida, Phosphate Complex operated at 98 percent of capacity during the 2012 third quarter.