July 29, 2019 / 10:20 PM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-Nutrien misses profit estimates, cuts forecast on trade war, weather

(Adds details on forecast, results, estimates, CEO quote from statement)

July 29 (Reuters) - Nutrien Ltd missed estimates for quarterly earnings and cut its full-year adjusted profit forecast on Monday, as the fertilizer maker struggles with recent floods in the U.S. midwest that delayed planting and a prolonged trade war.

Record floods devastated a wide swath of the U.S. Farm Belt, including Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, in March delaying spring planting season.

“U.S. weather in the first half was so severe it nearly eliminated global demand growth for crop inputs”, Chief Executive Officer Chuck Magro said in a statement.

The company also lowered its 2019 potash sales volume forecast to 12.6 million tonnes to 13.0 million tonnes from 13.0 million tonnes to 13.4 million tonnes.

Chinese demand could be delayed by the tariffs from the Sino-U.S. trade war, while a below normal monsoon is weighing on demand in India, the company said.

The trade war has also depressed U.S. farm incomes, leaving growers less money to spend on seed and fertilizer.

Weather and lower crop planting hit North American spring potash demand of which only a proportion is expected to be made-up in the fall, the company added.

Nutrien lowered its 2019 adjusted net earnings forecast to $2.70 to $3.00 per share from $2.80 to $3.20 per share and adjusted core earnings to $4.35 billion to $4.70 billion from $4.4 billion to $4.9 billion.

The company, formed by the merger of Agrium Inc and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan in early 2018, said net income from continuing operations rose to $858 million, or $1.47 per share, in the three months ended June 30, from $741 million or $1.17 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.58 per share, missing estimate of $1.60, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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