Canada's PotashCorp extends potash mine shutdowns on weak demand

23 February 2012 11:26  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Fertilizer producer PotashCorp has extended shutdowns at two of its biggest potash mines in Saskatchewan, Canada, as demand remains weak, the company said late on Wednesday.

The Rocanville and Lanigan mines will remain shut for up to an additional four weeks, until 31 March, said Canada-based PotashCorp.

A third mine, at Allan, was shut down on 5 February and is set to reopen on 3 March. The company has not announced an extension of this shutdown.

The Rocanville mine has a potash capacity of 2.8m tonnes/year, while Lanigan's capacity is 3.6m tonnes/year. The extension of the shutdowns means around 200,000 tonnes of potash from Rocanville and more than 270,000 tonnes from Lanigan will be removed from the market.

The Rocanville mine was initially set to shut from 25 December until 4 February. However, in January the company decided to extend the shutdown by another four weeks. The Lanigan mine was initially set to be shut from 8 January until 3 March.

US fertilizer maker Mosaic announced earlier this month that it would reduce its planned potash production by up to 20% from FebruaryMay 2012 because of low near-term demand.

Demand in the US has failed to take off in the past couple of months despite the spring planting season approaching, as stock levels are high.

High inventory levels and low demand has also kept major importers such as India and China on the sidelines.

Sluggish global demand has left producers with two options to slash prices or curtail supply. Potash producers have chosen to cut production, while keeping prices stable.

By: Deepika Thapliyal
+44 208 652 3214

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