Nutrien concluded in 2021 the construction of the anhydrous hydrogen fluoride (AHF) plant in Aurora, North Carolina, United States, with its partner Arkema.
The company now expects production to start in the first half of 2022.
Nutrien has two large integrated phosphate facilities in the United States and four regional product improvement facilities.
Due to the high quality of its phosphate rock, the company is able to produce a diverse mix of phosphate products, including solid and liquid fertilizers, feedstuffs and industrial acids.
This flexibility allows the company to optimize its product mix during changing market conditions.
It sells the majority of its products in the North American market and benefits from its extensive distribution network and customer relationships.
Agricultural sales represent approximately 75% of its phosphate sales.
Nutrien is expanding production of industrial and specialty fertilizers that have historically provided higher and more stable margins.
On the other hand, its phosphate margins increased significantly, as higher sales prices more than offset higher raw material costs and lower sales volume.
Nutrien was able to increase its phosphoric acid operating rate by 2% compared to 2020 and increased its share of sales of higher-margin specialty phosphate products.
Over the past three years, the company has returned 2,700 acres of land to productive use after phosphate mining.
Phosphate fertilizer continues to be an essential input for crop nutrition.
Nutrien continues to invest in its assets, while focusing on generating positive free cash flow for the business unit.
Industrial and specialty fertilizer products continue to be an area of focus, as they historically generate higher margins.
The company has indicated that it will explore strategic partnerships that enhance the value and develop additional revenue streams from its existing assets, such as its AHF project in Aurora and its hydrofluorosilicic acid business in White Springs.