War in Ukraine, food security concerns drive record earnings for Nutrien

Renderings show plans for Nutrien Tower, an office building set to be built in Saskatoon's River Landing area. (nutrien.com)

Nutrien is announcing record earnings for the first quarter of 2022.

The fertilizer giant posted $1.4 billion in net earnings, according to the company.

Nutrien says it's a record quarter for the company.

“Global agriculture and crop input markets are being impacted by a number of unprecedented supply disruptions that have contributed to higher commodity prices and escalated concerns for global food security," Nutrien's president and CEO Ken Seitz said in a news release.

"The situation emphasizes the need for long-term solutions that support a sustainable increase in global crop production."

While the company attributes the rise in earnings to a number of factors, the Russian invasion of Ukraine looms large.

Russia and Belarus account for roughly 40 per cent of potash production and exports, according to the company.

Due to sanctions on the two nations, their potash exports have plummeted 20 per cent, Nutrien's earnings update said.

In March, the company announced it would increase its production by one million tonnes in response to the uncertainty created by the conflict.

"Nutrien is responding by safely increasing potash production and utilizing our global supply chain to provide customers with the crop inputs and services they need for this critical growing season," Seitz said in the release.