PotashCorp closes facilities, cuts workforce to offset weak markets

03 December 2013 11:58  [Source: ICIS news]

(recasts, clarifying geography in seventh paragraph)

A PotashCorp mine at Rocanville CanadaLONDON (ICIS)--Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PotashCorp) is closing or reducing capacity at several facilities and cutting its workforce by around 18% in response to poor market conditions, it said on Tuesday.

“Despite confidence in the long-term drivers of our business, a significant portion of fertilizer demand comes from developing markets where growth has been less robust than expected," the company said in a statement.

“This sluggish environment has been most visible in our potash and phosphate businesses, and has contributed to challenging market conditions. As a consequence, we must make some difficult decisions today to ensure the company continues to be well positioned for the future.”

PotashCorp’s three business operating segments - nitrogen, phosphate and potash - as well as corporate services will be impacted , the Canada-based crop nutrient company said.

The workforce reduction is expected to affect 1,045 people in total in Canada, the US and Trinidad.

The cuts will be at Saskatchewan (440), New Brunswick (130), Florida (350), North Carolina (85) and other US locations and Trinidad (40).

PotashCorp said it would be suspending, reducing or ceasing potash production at facilities in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, Canada.

It will also close the Suwannee River chemical plant in the second half of 2014, one of two at its White Springs, Florida phosphate facility.

"We anticipate the outlined changes will result in lower per-tonne operating costs – most notably in our potash and phosphate segments – thereby enhancing the competitive position of each nutrient on a global basis," the company said.

"The majority of changes are anticipated to be completed in 2013," it added.

CEO Bill Doyle said: "We understand the impact is not only on our people, but also in the communities where we work and live, and PotashCorp will work hard to help those affected through this challenging time.”

By: Graeme Paterson
+44 20 8652 3214

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