30 July 1998
Norsk Hydro suffers from fertiliser downturn

NORSK HYDRO has suffered from a sharp downturn in fertiliser prices, partly triggered by the decision of China, the worlds largest producer of urea, to switch from overseas to domestic suppliers.

Norsk is Norways largest quoted industrial group and the worlds biggest fertiliser producer. But it faces more problems, according to a profile in the Financial Times. The company recently reported a 32% decline in second-quarter operating profit to NKr1.93 billion (£156m), on flat sales of NKr25bn.

Demand in the agricultural division is unlikely to pick up in the traditionally slower third and fourth quarters.

Moreover, fertiliser consumption in Europe is expected to drop following the European Commissions decision to increase the amount of set-aside land from 5% to 10% of the total.

  • Financial Times 30/07/98 page 31