2. Competitive Advantages and Earnings Stability

Agrium’s competitive advantages run deep throughout our business. The unique combination of primary fertilizer production and manufacturing combined with being the world’s largest direct-to-grower distribution network provides us with distinct advantages.

This business combination is unique amongst our peers and allows us to achieve higher plant operating rates, leverage our size and scale with suppliers, capture significant logistics and distribution synergies and garner market intelligence globally from all levels of the crop input chain.

Additionally, the comparatively stable Retail business unit provides stability to earnings, and counter-cyclical cash flow generation, which increases debt capacity across the company.

Further specific competitive advantages include:    

In Nitrogen we benefit from purchasing primarily Canadian AECO gas, some of the lowest cost natural gas in the world, and an in-market transportation advantage, which provides us with a significant margin premium for our produced volumes even when global prices are depressed. 

Our potash production can leverage our North American Retail network to run at higher operating rates than our peers, by distributing product through our own network.

Our Retail business unit is the largest direct-to-grower provider of crop input products in the world, which gives Agrium unique purchasing power and logistical efficiencies. View the scale of our global Retail footprint.

By repatriating product produced at our plants in Western Canada through our extensive retail distribution assets in Western Canada, we are able to reduce freight and handling costs and increase net returns to the company.