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February 19, 2013
18:10 EDTCFCF Industries expects farmers to continue planting large number of acres in 2013
CF Industries expects tight stocks-to-use ratios for corn, wheat and soybeans, underpinning the company's expectation of high crop prices and continue to provide economic incentives for farmers to plant a large number of acres and apply optimal amounts of plant nutrients. The high prices for corn and other coarse grains are supporting expectations that growers in North America, Europe, Ukraine and China will plant very large areas to grain, which should create robust global demand for plant nutrients, especially nitrogen, during 1H. A continuation of high prices for soybeans should lead to a large number of planted acres in South America again in 2013 and strong demand for phosphates in 1H in support of that region's fall fertilization needs. CF Industries projects that U.S. farmers will plant 97M acres of corn in 2013 with a forecasted yield of 160 bushels per acre, compared to actual 2012 of 97M acres and a yield of 123 bushels per acre. The North American nitrogen market is expected to be balanced-to-tight during 1H. Demand is expected to be robust due to the anticipated high number of corn acres to be planted. Midwest ammonia market conditions are expected to be tight-to-balanced during 1H. The North American UAN market is expected to be tight through the spring. Global UAN demand is benefiting from anticipated robust planting seasons in North America and Europe. CF Industries has hedged natural gas costs for approximately 90% of its anticipated nitrogen production needs through April 2013. The global phosphate market is currently weak but is expected to improve over the course of 1H. Capital expenditures in 2013 for the company's announced capacity expansion projects at Donaldsonville, Louisiana, and Port Neal, Iowa, are expected to be in the range of $1B to $1.3B. Capital expenditures for the company's existing facilities are expected to be approximately $450M.
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