Potash Corp's profits plunge on dwindling Asian demand

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSE:POT) has logged a stunning 38% decline in Q4 profits due to dwindling demand from core Asian export markets India and China.

The company said the sharp profit plunge highlighted the variable and uncertain nature of food production, which is impacted by a broad swath of factors including climate conditions, government policy and endogenous industry developments.

Shipments to Asia were the main culprits this time around, with exports to India and China plunging 37%, as overall offshore sales fell 43% in total.

The fourth quarter profit decline capped an abysmal year for the world's largest potash producer, during which profits fell by around CND$1bn compared to the year previously.

The company's shares slumped on the bad news, declining 1.9% in Thursday trading on the TSX, after rising 3% earlier on the on expectations of a bright outlook for the potash industry this year.