Rabat – The turnover of the Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) amounted to MAD 36 billion at the end of September 2017, up 13 percent from the same period last year, revealed the group’s consolidated financial statements published this week.
This increase is mainly due to OCP’s exports growth in all key regions, namely Africa, Europe, North America (United States), and Latin America (Brazil and Argentina), explained the group. By the end of September 2017, global demand remained strong overall, with a significant increase in fertilizer consumption across all regions, boosted by stable farmer purchasing power.
Fertilizer sales increased by 20 percent, supported by OCP’s increase in export fertilizer volumes, which stood at 6 million tons at the end of September 2017, compared to 4.9 million tons in 2016. As for revenues generated by rock sales, they increased by 12 percent, driven by higher export volumes, OCP said, adding that exports of premium products increased by 44 percent and affected all importing regions in Africa.
The African market continues to be a stellar client for the OCP. In the first nine months of 2017, fertilizer exports to sub-Saharan Africa grew by 50 percent compared to 2016, reaching a volume of 1.8 million tons. The group notes that exports to the continent accounted for 30 percent of the total volume of export fertilizers by September 2017.
The proportion of fertilizers in OCP’s sales rose from 40 percent at the end of 2015 to 53 percent by September 2017.
Over the same period, OCP achieved an EBITDA increase of MAD 10.09 billion compared to MAD 9.17 billion last year, while the EBITDA margin remained relatively stable compared to the level of 2016 at 28 percent.
With regard to market trends, OCP points out that phosphate fertilizer prices experienced some volatility throughout the year, recovering gradually during the first months of 2017 because of supply pressures caused by difficult weather conditions and strong demand from Brazil, whose exports in the first half were significantly higher than the same period of 2016.
Prices then experienced a slight downward correction due to the recovery of Chinese exports and low levels of Indian imports.
In the third quarter of 2017, prices began to stabilize gradually before peaking in late September, the group said, explaining the improvement by citing higher prices for sulfur and ammonia and a drop in supply caused by hurricanes in Florida.