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Fertilizer stocks tank as low nitrogen prices batter earnings

An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed a quote to the head of IR instead of the CEO. It has been corrected.

Caitlin Huston/MarketWatch

Stocks of fertilizer makers were sharply lower Thursday, led by CF Industries Holdings Inc. after earnings that were much weaker than expected.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based company is the latest to report a bruising quarter as the price of nitrogen remains under pressure from China’s growing exports of urea, which is replacing ammonium nitrate as a fertilizer, and oversupply in North America after capacity additions. Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for plant growth and the key ingredient in commercial fertilizer.

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