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Pace of Intrepid Potash losses slow, as market bottoms out

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Intrepid Potash reported smaller losses, with signs the potash market has bottomed out.

And the company reported rising sales in its commodity potash business, thanks to an increase in volumes, up 51% year-on-year.

Intrepid's realised potash sales prices was down 33% year on year in the last three months of 2016, but up 4% on the previous three months period.

The company said that recent price increases have provided "stability to the potash market and have increased buyer confidence entering the spring season".

'Improved selling environment'

"The improved selling environment for potash that began towards the end of the third quarter has continued, as we saw healthy demand and improved pricing during the fourth quarter," said Bob Jornayvaz, Intrepid's president and chief executive.

"As we look into 2017, we expect to see the full benefit of recent potash price increases and the margin benefit of solar potash," Mr Jornayvaz said.

Intrepid said it does not expect the full effect of the recent rise in prices to come start to be realised until the first three months of 2017.

"The potash segment generated a gross deficit of $4.1m in the fourth quarter of 2016 as the company sold tonnes that had been priced prior to last fall's price increases and sold its remaining conventionally produced granular inventory," Intrepid said.

Earnings miss expectations

Intrepid reported a net loss of $16.6m for the last three months of 2016, compared with net loss of $518.3m in the same time a year earlier.

The company's adjusted net loss was $14.5m, compared with a loss of $20.1m a year earlier, or $0.19 per share.

This missed analyst expectations for a loss of $0.12 a share.

By William Clarke

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