19 December 2008 22:14 [Source: ICIS news]
The temporary announcements will affect 400 hourly workers at its Rocanville plant, 300 at its Lanigan unit and 240 its Allan facility.
All three potash plants are in Canada's Saskatchewan province, and they will be shut down from 18 January-15 March.
Hourly employees account for 60-70% of the total workforce at the three mines, said Bill Johnson, PotashCorp's director of public relations.
"Our customers – ag retailers and their customers who are farmers – are facing the same economic headwinds many industries are right now," Johnson said.
"We're seeing access to credit is tight, grain prices have come off in the past weeks and demand has fallen off. We've always matched our supply to customer demand," he said.
The three shutdowns are part of PotashCorp's intentions to pull back 2m tonnes of potash production in 2009.
"This will account for a substantial proportion of that," Johnson said.
PotashCorp's Allan mine produced 1.744m tonnes of potash in 2007 while Lanigan's output was 1.907m tonnes, and the Rocanville unit produced 2.647m tonnes, according to Johnson.
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