Compass Buoyed by Higher SOP Sales Volumes

Compass Minerals International Inc of Overland Park, KS has reported a second quarter net loss of US$0.7 million on sales of US$186.6 million, down from net earnings of US$10.6 million on sales of US$173.8 million in the second quarter of 2013. The sales increase reflects a significant rise in sulfate of potash (SOP) sales volumes offset by lower sales of highway deicing products.

Compass’’ Salt segment generated second quarter operating earnings of US$6.8 million on sales of US$118.7 million down from US$15.7 million on sales of US$127.3 million in the second quarter of 2013. Highway deicing sales volumes were 14% lower at 990,000 tons as the UK avoided a repeat of last year’s severe winter conditions. The average selling price of highway deicing salt in the latest period fell 6% to US$44.93/ton, primarily due to the increase in the proportion of rock salt to chemical customers. The average selling price for consumer and industrial salt decreased from US$143.96/ton to US$133.27/ton.

Compass’’ Plant Nutrition segment reported second quarter earnings of US$17.9 million on sales of US$65.6 million versus US$14.0 million on sales of US$44.1 million in the prior year period. Sales volumes of sulfate of potash jumped 42% to 98,000 tons. The average selling price increased from US$638/ton to US$670/ton, reflecting the inclusion of Wolf Trax and its higher priced products. SOP prices were essentially unchanged from 2013.

Potash Ridge Corp of Toronto, ON is seeking to raise funds for a feasibility study for its Blawn Mountain SOP project in Utah. The company expects that additional funds will bring the development of the project to the beginning of the execution phase and the commencement of detailed engineering, assuming receipt of a positive feasibility study. During the second quarter, Potash Ridge held discussions with distributors and users of SOP in North America, all of which indicated a supply shortage. Potash Ridge continues to analyze potential markets for the alumina-rich material that will be produced as a byproduct of SOP production. The company has held discussions with potential consumers including producers of ceramic proppants.

Volume 28 issue 15

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