Feb 6 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. agricultural chemicals maker FMC plunged 14% on Tuesday after a gloomy first-quarter profit forecast fanned investor worries over the potential hit from weakness in Latin America.

Volumes in South America have been compressed since the latter half of 2023 due to droughts. FMC's sales in the region tumbled 38% in the fourth quarter, driving a miss on revenue.

"Market has been unbelievably depressed over the last nine months and going into the first part of this year," CEO Mark Douglas said in a conference call.

The Philadelphia-based company said late on Monday it expects adjusted earnings between 21 cents and 43 cents per share in the first quarter, compared with analysts' average estimate of $1.00, according to LSEG data.

Drought conditions in Brazil and high channel inventory in India are expected to pile continued pressure on prices in the first quarter, Roth MKM analysts said in a note.

Larger rival Corteva had also signaled weak demand in Brazil last week, but analysts have pointed to FMC's higher exposure to South America.

FMC's forward price-to-earnings ratio is 13.71, compared with Corteva's 17.73, according to LSEG data. Comparatively, a lower multiple reflects an attractive investment opportunity.

The company said 8% of its workforce will be impacted by a previously announced restructuring drive to rein in costs.

Still, the company said it expected a recovery in demand in the second half of the year.

(Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)