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Acron Group’s Commercial Output Up 6% in H1 2021

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13 July 2021

Acron Group’s Commercial Output Up 6% in H1 2021

Group’s Consolidated Output (including operating results for Acron, Dorogobuzh and North-Western Phosphorous Company)

Product, ‘000 t

6M 2021

6M 2020

YOY, %

MINERAL FERTILISERS

Ammonia

1,415

1,374

3.0

Incl. in-house consumption

1,377

1,306

Nitrogen fertilisers, including

2,424

2,442

-0.7

Incl. in-house consumption

427

403

AN

1,118

1,227

-8.8

Incl. in-house consumption

142

135

Urea

651

568

14.7

Incl. in-house consumption

284

269

Including prilled urea

163

276

-40.9

Incl. in-house consumption

11

8

Including granulated urea

231

34

up by factor 6.8

Incl. in-house consumption

16

3

UAN

655

648

1.1

Complex fertilisers, including

1,296

1,140

13.6

Incl. in-house consumption

25

16

NPK

1,201

1,080

11.2

Incl. in-house consumption

25

16

Bulk blends

95

60

57.4

Total commercial output for Mineral Fertilisers

3,307

3,231

2.4

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS

Organic compounds, including

241

187

28.9

Incl. in-house consumption

125

94

Methanol

53

44

21.1

Incl. in-house consumption

46

35

Formalin

86

67

28.1

Incl. in-house consumption

77

58

Urea-formaldehyde resins

101

75

34.2

Incl. in-house consumption

2

1

72.4

Non-organic compounds, including:

590

493

19.8

Low-density and technical-grade AN

244

156

56.1

Industrial urea

79

66

20.5

Calcium carbonate

237

243

-2.7

Liquid carbon dioxide

28

24

13.5

Argon

3

3

-8.3

Total commercial output for Industrial Products

706

585

20.7

PHOSPHATE INPUTS

Apatite concentrate

621

538

15.4

Incl. in-house consumption

478

433

Total commercial output for Apatite Concentrate

143

105

36.2

TOTAL COMMERCIAL OUTPUT

4,157

3,921

6.0

Note: Commercial output is output less in-house consumption

Comments from Alexander Popov, Chairman of Acron’s Board of Directors:

‘In H1 2021, Acron Group posted a new output record. In the reporting period, the Group produced 4,157,000 tonnes of commercial products, up 6% year-on-year. Mineral fertiliser output was up 2% to 3,307,000 tonnes.

‘Output of ammonia, which we use as a basic feedstock for finished products, increased 3% to 1,415,000 tonnes, and the share of ammonia processed into finished products rose to 97%. In the reporting period, our flexible production chain allowed us to increase our output of the highest-margin products, primarily urea and complex fertilisers. Agricultural-grade urea output was up 15% to 651,000 tonnes, and complex fertiliser output increased 14% to 1,296,000 tonnes. In response to recovering demand for industrial products, the Group increased its output 21% to 706,000 tonnes. We also benefited from a favourable UAN price environment in Q2 2021 and expanded our UAN output.

‘The additional output always reaches its consumer since the demand for our products is very strong both in Russian and global markets. Higher profit margin of agribusiness and farmers’ purchasing power supported by high prices for the basic crops contribute to the spike in sales. Notably, the Russian agricultural industry is one of the record holders, as Acron Group’s fertiliser supplies to the domestic market for the spring sowing season in 2021 boosted 27%.

‘Acron Group has continued to invest heavily in capacity expansion to meet the growing market demand. Over the next several weeks, we will launch the Urea-6+ unit at Acron (Veliky Novgorod) to increase the facility’s urea capacity by 520,000 tonnes per annum. Additionally, the Group embarked on upgrades to the Urea-1, Urea-2, Urea-3, and Urea-4 units to increase their consolidated capacity by 390,000 tonnes per annum, and also commenced constructing a new 700,000-tpa urea granulation unit. Upon completing this project, Acron’s Novgorod-based facility will become the largest urea production facility both in Russia and in Europe.

‘Acron Group increases the output in line with the ESG strategy focused on preserving natural resources, increasing the equipment efficiency and improving its footprint regions. Implementation of the Group’s two urea projects will help reduce direct CO2 emissions by 630,000 tonnes per annum, the equivalent of 130,000 cars.’

Market Trends

In Q2 2021, global urea prices continued to grow. By the end of the quarter, the FOB Baltic price was USD 450, reaching its post-2012 high. This price growth was driven by various factors including continued strong seasonal demand in Europe and the United States, extensive urea purchases by India, high grain prices, and higher global gas prices driving up production costs. China’s threat of a 30% export duty on urea, which resulted in limited supplies from this country, also contributed to stronger prices. In Q3 2021, purchases by India and Brazil have supported the market amid a seasonal decline in demand in Europe and the United States.

AN and UAN prices increased to their highest level since 2014 in Q2 2021 due to strong demand in the Northern Hemisphere and rising urea prices, which serve as a benchmark for other nitrogen fertilisers prices.

NPK prices were up as well in Q2 2021, supported by a similar pricing trend for the basic product basket (urea, DAP, and potassium chloride). However, the increase in basic product prices outstripped blends because of their higher liquidity, so the NPK 16-16-16 premium over the basic product basket decreased to 0-5% from the historical average of 20%.

Average Indicative Prices, USD/t, FOB Baltic/Black Sea

Q2
2021

Q1
2021

Q2
2020

Q2 2021 /
Q1 2021

change

Q2 2021 /
Q2 2020

change

NPK 16-16-16

353

312

258

13%

37%

AN

245

234

153

5%

61%

UAN

250

213

144

17%

73%

Urea

359

326

207

10%

73%

Ammonia

462

329

197

40%

135%

Media Contacts:

Sergey Dorofeev

Anastasia Gromova

Tatiana Smirnova

Public Relations

Phone: +7 (495) 777-08-65 (ext. 5196)

Investor Contacts:

Ilya Popov

Sergey Smirnov

Investor Relations

Phone: +7 (495) 745-77-45 (ext. 5252)

Background Information

Acron Group is a leading vertically integrated mineral fertiliser producer in Russia and globally, with chemical production facilities in Veliky Novgorod (Acron) and Smolensk region (Dorogobuzh). The Group owns and operates a phosphate mine in Murmansk region (North-Western Phosphorous Company, NWPC) and is implementing a potash development project in Perm Krai (Verkhnekamsk Potash Company, VPC). It owns transportation and logistics infrastructure, including three Baltic seaport terminals and distribution networks in Russia and China. Acron subsidiary North Atlantic Potash Inc. (NAP) holds mining leases and an exploration permit for ten parcels of the potassium salt deposit at Prairie Evaporite, Saskatchewan, Canada. Acron also holds a minority stake (19.8%) in Polish Grupa Azoty S.A., one of the largest chemical producers in Europe.

In 2020, the Group sold 7.8 million tonnes of main products to 74 countries, with Russia, Brazil, Europe, and the United States as key markets.

In 2020, the Group posted consolidated IFRS revenue of RUB 119,864 million (USD 1,661 million), with EBITDA of RUB 35,311 million (USD 489 million). Acron’s shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange, and its global depositary receipts are traded at the London Stock Exchange (ticker AKRN). Acron employs over 11,000 people.

For more information about Acron Group, please visit www.acron.ru/en.


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