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Nutrien, Cameco report successful 1st quarters

Nutrien Tower is seen in Saskatoon on June 25, 2021. Nutrien Ltd. says it earned a record US$1.4 billion in the first quarter as the war in Ukraine drove up commodity prices and raised concerns about global food security. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

Fertilizer giant Nutrien has announced it earned a record US$1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

The Saskatoon-based company said the Ukraine war drove up commodity prices and raised concerns about global food security.

Read more: Nutrien increasing potash production due to uncertainty in eastern Europe

The share price for the company has increased by more than 20 per cent since March 1.

Nutrien has over 20 million tonnes of capacity at six potash mines in Saskatchewan.

The company said in March that it planned to increase potash production capacity by nearly one million tonnes to help meet global demand and now says it may expand production even more.

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Nutrien interim president and CEO Ken Seitz said in a release that global agriculture and crop input markets have been impacted by unprecedented supply disruptions “that have contributed to higher commodity prices and escalated concerns for global food security.”

“The situation emphasizes the need for long-term solutions that support a sustainable increase in global crop production,” Seitz said.

Meanwhile, Cameco reported net earnings of $40 million and adjusted net earnings of $17 million in the first quarter of 2022.

Cameco produced 1.9 million pounds of its share of uranium during the quarter and sold 5.9 million pounds at an average price of 34 per cent higher than the same time last year.

Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel said the recent uranium price increase means Cameco is starting to “enjoy the benefits of the strategic and deliberate decisions we have made.”

“With leverage to rising prices, we are well-positioned to continue to capture value from the market transition we believe is underway, and that is supported by the fundamentals; fundamentals characterized by durable, full-cycle demand against a backdrop of growing concerns about security of supply,” Gitzel added.

Cameco focused on recruitment and training at the McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill in the first quarter.

Read more: War in Ukraine fuels commodity surge ahead of Saskatchewan budget release

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Currently, about 600 employees and long-term contractors are employed at the mine and mill.

Once Cameco resumes operations later in 2022, it plans to have about 850 employees and long-term contractors at the mine mill.

— with files from David Giles

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