Reported Q3 2020 revenues for K+S Group fell by around 9% to €821.7M (US$973.3M) from €904.9M (US$1,071.8M) in Q3 2019. In the ”EUROPE+” operating unit, this followed lower potash prices and a weaker US dollar compared to the Euro. In the AMERICAS operating unit, higher prices did not offset lower volumes and there was an unfavourable exchange rate with the Euro.
In the Industry segment (potash, magnesium and salt products), K+S Group had Q3 revenues of €282.1M (US$334.2M) compared to €292.9M (US$347.0M) in Q3 2019. Sales volumes to the oil and gas, pharmaceutical and chemical industries in particular, declined in both the EUROPE+ and AMERICAS operating units due to COVID-19. The AMERICAS operating unit was also negatively impacted by lower demand from the food service and food processing industries. In contrast, demand for animal nutrition products remained stable.
The Consumer segment (salt products including table, water softening, dishwasher and home de-icing) saw K+S Group report stable revenues in Q3 2020 of €118.8M (US$140.8M) compared to €117.7M (US$139.4M) in Q3 2019. During Q1-Q3 2020, revenues were up 8.1% at €373.8M (US$442.7M) from €345.8M (US$409.7M) in the same period of 2019, even though sales volumes were down slightly by 3.9% at 1.26Mt from 1.31Mt. Higher sales volumes for table, water softening and pool salts were offset by a reduction in those for packaged de-icing salts.
Revenues in the Communities segment (de-icing) fell sharply to an untypically weak €46.4M (US$54.8M) in Q3 2020 from €68.2M (US$80.6M) in Q3 2019. This followed lower sales volumes in the pre-season business as well as negative currency effects. The mild 2019/20 winter meant overall Q1-Q3 2020 revenues were down >42% at €298M (US$352.3M) from €515.8M (US$609.8M) in the same period of 2019, as volumes were 4.15Mt or 45% down, at 5.09Mt compared to 9.24Mt.
In 2020, the largest salt producer in the world, K+S Group, has seen consumer sales holding up in the COVID-19 pandemic while industrial markets have been more affected but are showing signs of recovery. The main factor behind lower 2020 revenues, particularly in the Americas, was the mild weather in the second half of the 2019/20 financial year. This negatively affected de-icing salt sales in Q1 and meant stocks remained high, reducing restocking requirements in Q3.
Roskill’s NEW Salt: Outlook to 2030, 19th Edition report is about to be published and includes analysis of industry trends in supply, demand, trade and prices, as well as providing forecasts to 2030, profiles of the main producers, a section on production costs and a section on the sustainability of the salt supply chain via consideration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors. Click here to download the brochure and sample pages for the report, or to access further information.