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Mosaic to dial back potash production

Citing “lower near-term demand,” fertilizer giant Mosaic Co. has announced plans to cut back the output from its potash mines in Saskatchewan for the next four months.

Mosaic, which in late December said it would also reduce its finished phosphate production until the end of March, said Feb. 3 it will reduce its planned potash production by “up to 20 per cent” from now through May.

While the curtailment will see less potash coming out of Mosaic’s mines in Saskatchewan and elsewhere, the cutback is not expected to lead to any layoffs or mine shutdowns, the company said.

“Cautious dealer sentiment continues to delay purchases and lower near-term demand for potash,” CEO Jim Prokopanko said in a release.

However, he added, “farmer economics remain strong, and we continue to expect an above-average application season in North America and record-setting global potash shipments in 2012.”

The company, he said, is “confident fundamentals will ultimately prevail” but meanwhile has made this move to “reflect the near-term supply-and-demand balance for potash.”

Minneapolis-based Mosaic operates three potash mines in Saskatchewan: at Belle Plaine, east of Moose Jaw; at Colonsay, east of Saskatoon; and at Esterhazy, south of Yorkton. It also owns U.S. potash facilities at Hersey, Mich. and Carlsbad, N.M.



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