Agrium Inc.
NYSE : AGU
TSX : AGU

Agrium Inc.

October 23, 2009 07:30 ET

Agrium Provides Market Update

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 23, 2009) -

ALL AMOUNTS ARE STATED IN U.S.$

Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) (NYSE:AGU) announced today that it expects third quarter 2009 earnings to be 90 to 95 percent below last year's third quarter results, in line with results previously reported from industry peers for the third quarter. The reduction is due to significantly lower prices and margins for all three crop nutrients, and particularly for phosphate and potash. Retail results have been negatively impacted by a slower than expected recovery in Retail crop nutrient margins in the third quarter and approximately a 40 percent decline in fungicide sales and applications this summer. These factors will result in a significant reduction in the previously forecasted Retail EBITDA.(1)

Despite these short-term challenges, Agrium believes the fundamentals for our businesses are excellent and we are well positioned for the anticipated strong recovery in crop input demand in 2010. Our U.S. grower customers have indicated their intention to return to normal crop nutrient application this fertilizer year, particularly now that corn prices have increased again to well above historic levels. If the wet weather in the US continues and shortens the fall application season it is expected to push fall nutrient demand into the spring of 2010.

We will provide more information in our third quarter press release and conference call scheduled for November 4, 2009.

About Agrium

Agrium Inc. is a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services in both North and South America and a leading global producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients and industrial products. Agrium produces and markets three primary groups of nutrients: nitrogen, phosphate and potash as well as controlled release fertilizers and micronutrients. Agrium's strategy is to grow through incremental expansion of its existing operations and acquisitions as well as the development, commercialization and marketing of new products and international opportunities.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including those referred to in the management discussion and analysis section of the Company's most recent annual report to shareholders, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

(1) In Agrium's second quarter 2009 earnings release a forward-looking statement indicated that 2009 Retail EBITDA was expected to be close to $400-million.

Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, general economic, market and business conditions, weather conditions that may further limit the fall application season or significant additional changes in crop prices or crop input prices. Agrium disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information as a result of new information or future events.

Contact Information

  • Agrium Inc.
    Richard Downey
    Senior Director, Investor Relations
    (403) 225-7357
    or
    Agrium Inc.
    Todd Coakwell
    Manager, Investor Relations
    (403) 225-7437
    www.agrium.com