Mosaic Co Earnings Call Nuggets: Potash Expansion and Foschem in India

Mosaic Co (NYSE:MOS) recently reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Potash Expansion

Vincent Andrews – Morgan Stanley: Could you just talk about as you evaluate the potash expansion, that’s not Board approved yet. What do you need to see going forward or what are you going to analyze or what are the big decision points that are going to make you decide to either go forward or not go forward?

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James T. Prokopanko – President and CEO: Good morning, Vincent, Jim Prokopanko here. Good to have you on this call. You’re right. We are taking that under a final consideration now. We’re looking – and I’ll ask Joc to add a few comments. But principally a matter of what the costs are looking like. We are concluding our final cost outlooks as you’d be aware. Saskatchewan is a hot economy, with all the energy and other basic material industries booming, and so we’re seeing some cost pressures come into these projects. So looking at the matter of the final costs to build out the projects that we still have on the drawing boards, and take a look at where some of these other projects in the industry are going. You’ve seen some changes in the planned outlook. Vale has backed away from its Rio Colorado project for reasons of costs that have bloomed on them and take a final look and balance by the end of this summer. Joc, do you want to add anything?

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James ‘Joc’ O’Rourke – EVP – Operations and COO: I think the only thing I could add is, we are in the process of finalizing the cost, looking at the construction environment in Saskatchewan, but the key thing for us is, and we’ve always said that these projects have on-rounds and off-rounds. I don’t think it’s a matter of, if we’re going to do the projects. It’s a matter of what’s the right timing for Mosaic, so if we make a decision, it will be on the timing. So, we’ll be talking about delaying, not finally cancelling a project.

Foschem in India

Joel Jackson – BMO Capital Markets: I’ll ask a couple of questions about Foschem in India. What I want to know is, it seems like, because you’re giving guidance that you don’t expect the Indian import market to really return to the end of your fiscal year, so around May, we’ve seen some spot deals happening in India. So, is your sense that the Indian market is changing this year to a more spot for DAP and as part of that, also longer term, what’s the future of Foschem with you now investing in the modern project and maybe changing how you market around the world?

James T. Prokopanko – President and CEO: I’m going to ask Rick to address that, but I’ll just lead off with, we’re seeing recovery in the Indian economy. There’s definitely some impacts, negative impacts from the changes in their subsidy program, but we’ve seen a good return to potash demand, phosphate’s a little iffy, and I’m going to ask Rick to speak to that.

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Richard N. McLellan – SVP, Commercial: So, your two questions. The first, on Foschem in India, I think that we’ll see longer term contracts entered into in India. So, we’re not seeing a change to a spot market. Our guys were there last week, visited with them, there’s a belief in three things, that the inventory they have will carry them through until probably near June, second that to get product moving into place so that they can take the 5.5 million tonnes roughly of DAP, they need for imports will lead the start in May and everyone is sitting there waiting for the government to come forward with what the subsidy programs are going to be. The expectation was as that those were to be last week, expectation now is as we’ll see them next week as the government gets themselves set after some people. And so, we expect India will come in. It will be an orderly buy and there’s no question they want the tonnes that we have allocated towards them. The second part on Foschem is a question that we’ve been asked, but I think the key thing is as we see no changes coming and that to think about it a product that will come from Ma’aden is four years out, that’s a long time.

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