The Moroccan corporation is the world’s largest exporter of raw phosphates and phosphoric acid.
Rabat – Morocco’s mostly state-owned phosphate company OCP has achieved a turnover of MAD 12.27 billion ($1.25 billion) between the start of 2020 and the end of March. The figure represents a slight decrease from the MAD 12.42 billion ($1.27 billion) recorded during the same period in 2019.
The annual turnover decrease is mainly due to a decline in fertilizer prices, OCP Group said in a statement presenting its 2020 first-quarter results.
Compared to the previous quarter (Q4-2019), OCP’s sales increased by 5%, mainly due to higher sales volume and a slight recovery in prices at the beginning of 2020 thanks to higher demand.
OCP’s gross margin has also recorded a slight annual decrease in the first quarter of 2020, declining from MAD 8.37 billion ($854.5 million) in Q1-2019 to MAD 7.53 billion ($768.8 million) in Q1-2020. The figures represent a drop in OCP’s margin rate from 67% to 61%.
The main reason behind the decrease is the drop in fertilizer prices due to the decline in sulfur and ammonia prices, OCP’s statement explained.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, OCP has implemented a series of measures to ensure a safe working environment for its employees and maintain a regular operation rhythm, without interruption or direct impact on production.
To remain competitive, OCP aims to reduce operating expenses and upgrade its cost control, the statement added. The vision would improve OCP’s financial position and global leadership in terms of costs.
In 2019, OCP Group recorded regressive results but maintained its position as the world’s largest exporter of raw phosphate.
OCP’s raw phosphate exports decreased from 11 million tons in 2018 to 9.5 million tons in 2019 due to a 6% global drop in exports of raw phosphate. The Moroccan corporation also witnessed a decline in its global market share from 38% to 34% in 2019.
OCP Group also maintained its position as the world’s largest exporter of phosphoric acid with a 49% market share. The company’s phosphoric acid exports stood at 1.5 million tons at the end of Q3-2019, compared to 1.37 million tons during the same period if 2018, recording a 2% yearly increase.
For fertilizers, OCP was able to increase its exports to nine million tons in 2019, compared to 8.4 million tons in 2018. The company took advantage of an increased demand for fertilizers in North America and Europe, increasing market shares in the two continents from 32% to 35% and from 29% to 33% respectively.
OCP Group also confirmed its position as the largest fertilizer exporter to Africa, with nearly 58% market share at the end of 2019, despite a drop in exports to the continent.
The group exported 1.8 million tons of fertilizer to African states in 2019, recording a slight decrease from the volume exported in 2018 that amounted to 1.9 million tons.
Thanks to the results, Morocco maintained its position as a world leader in phosphate and phosphate-based products.