January 28, 2020 / 11:42 PM / in a month

RPT-Mosaic to take charges of over $1 bln in fourth quarter

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Jan 28 (Reuters) - Fertilizer maker Mosaic Co said on Tuesday it would take a $530 million pretax charge in the fourth quarter related to the idling of its Colonsay potash mine in Saskatchewan.

Mosaic also expects a goodwill impairment charge of up to $590 million related to its phosphates segment in the quarter, blaming a continued decline in average realized prices.

"The ramping up of our Esterhazy K3 production, combined with continued weak demand in North America, has left Mosaic's potash business with excess inventory and production capacity," Chief Executive Officer Joc O'Rourke said in a statement.

The company said it would idle the Colonsay mine for the foreseeable future.

The weak demand in North America has also impacted Mosaic's phosphates segment and the annual goodwill impairment analysis, the company said in a regulatory filing www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives/edgar/data/1285785/000124378620000002/a8-kcolonsayidlingandp.htm.

Agricultural companies' profits have been hammered this year due to an unusually cold and wet weather that has delayed the planting season in North America, and lower demand fueled by trade war-related uncertainty.

Mosaic will report its fourth-quarter results on Feb. 19. (Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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