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IMC FERTILIZER STOCKHOLDERS TOLD CURRENT OPTIMISM MUST BE TEMPERED BY NEED FOR PRICE INCREASES

 NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Stockholders attending IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc.'s (NYSE: IFL) annual meeting today were cautioned that while recent market developments have created an optimistic mood throughout the fertilizer industry, prices must increase substantially from first-quarter levels before the company can return to profitability.
 In his remarks to stockholders at the company's sixth annual meeting, Wendell F. Bueche, president and chief executive officer, said he was "encouraged by the initial signs of improvement presently taking hold in the marketplace." He noted that international diammonium phosphate prices, for example, have risen substantially from the fourth-quarter low and "near-term prospects indicate continued price improvement as the industry's supply/demand balance improves."
 Nonetheless, he reminded shareholders that prices fell dramatically throughout fiscal 1993, dropping to 20-year lows and contributing to the company's record net loss of $167.1 million.
 Commenting an the company's operating philosophy, Bueche stated that "during the past several months we have experienced a marketplace characterized by pricing at ridiculous levels, oftentimes below direct cost. This is a formula for self-destruction of a business and, indeed, an industry." He added that "a fair price for our products, and, therefore, a reasonable return to our shareholders is very dependent on operating our facilities based on the supply/demand relationship in the worldwide marketplace."
 Bueche singled out the creation of IMC-Agrico Company, the company's phosphate joint venture with Freeport-McMoRan Resource Partners, Limited Partnership, as the company's most significant accomplishment during fiscal 1993.
 "The joint venture's inherent efficiencies at rated capacities are expected to produce annual savings of at least $95 million by the end of the second full year of operation," he said. "IMC-Agrico has a crucial role in our company's future success in the phosphate fertilizer business, and we are confident it will meet, if not exceed, our expectations."
 The company's president and CEO also cited the out-of-court settlement of litigation in Texas as a major adversity during fiscal 1993. The agreement requires the company to pay $180 million over a three-year period.
 "Despite the past year's difficulties, I believe we've clearly landed on our feet," said Bueche. "We are confident our strategic course is correct and that we have effectively prepared for future opportunities as they arise."
 FORMAL BUSINESS
 During today's formal business meeting, conducted at the company's general office in Mundelein, Ill., shareholders re-elected three directors to terms expiring in 1996, and ratified the appointment of Ernst & Young as independent auditors.
 The directors re-elected today were Wendell F. Bueche, president and chief executive officer of IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc.; Dr. James M. Davidson, vice president for agriculture and natural resources, University of Florida; and Billie B. Turner, chairman of the board of directors and retired president and chief executive officer of the company.
 IMC Fertilizer is one of the world's leading producers of phosphate rock and potash, two basic crop nutrients. It also is the world's largest manufacturer of concentrated phosphates, and a producer of sulphur, oil and natural gas.
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas C. Pasztor of IMC Fertilizer, 708-205-4801/
 (IFL)


CO: IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: CHM SU:

TW-SH -- NY073 -- 5336 10/21/93 14:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993
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