UPDATE 1-Potash Corp to close two mines for eight weeks

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:16pm EST
 
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* Shutdowns run from December to February

* Lack of sales to China, India causing stocks to build

TORONTO Nov 14 (Reuters) - Canada's Potash Corp, the world's largest fertilizer maker, said on Wednesday it will close two of its Canadian potash mines for eight weeks each to help control rising inventories.

A notice on the company website said a mine in Allan, Saskatchewan, would close between Dec. 16 and Feb. 9, and its Sussex, New Brunswick, mine would shut down between Dec. 30 and Feb. 23. The company said it was an inventory-related shutdown "consistent with Potash Corp's practice of matching supply with market demand."

North American potash supplies have built up as the top two consuming nations of the crop nutrient, China and India, stopped purchasing potash during most of the second half of 2012. Both countries are in contract talks with Canpotex Ltd, a company that markets potash off-shore for Potash Corp, Agrium Inc and Mosaic Co.

Potash Corp shares were down 2.7 percent in New York, in line with a dip in Mosaic stock, one day after Mosaic cut its potash and phosphate sales forecasts, citing uncertainty about new supply contracts with China and India.