Nutrien cuts earnings forecast after quarterly profit misses estimates

An interior view of the storage warehouse is seen at Nutrien's Cory potash mine near Saskatoon

(Reuters) -Nutrien Ltd on Wednesday cut its forecast for 2023 earnings as elevated fertilizer prices owed to Western sanctions on Russia and Belarus weigh on demand.

U.S.-listed shares of the company fell 3.9% in extended trading as it also reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit.

Though fertilizer prices have dipped from record highs scaled last year, farmers are holding back on purchases on expectations of a further decline.

The Canadian firm's North America potash sales volume dropped 30%, with prices averaging $401 per tonne during the reported quarter, 41% lower compared with last year.

The company cut its full-year adjusted earnings outlook to between $5.50 per share and $7.50 per share, from $8.45 per share to $10.65 per share forecast earlier.

Analysts on average expect a profit of $8.56 per share.

Nutrien, however, said it anticipates a rise in global potash demand in the second half of 2023 as inventories deplete and affordability for farmers improves.

It also expects potash shipments from Belarus to be higher than its earlier estimates.

Nutrien, which competes with CF Industries holding Inc and Mosaic Co, said its total quarterly sales fell 20% to $6.1 billion.

On an adjusted basis, the potash producer earned $1.11 per share for the quarter ended March 31, compared with estimates of $1.50, according to Refinitiv data.

Earlier this month, peer Mosaic also missed profit estimates.

(Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli, Shounak Dasgupta and Vinay Dwivedi)