Potash Corp to recall workers, may raise 2015 potash output

Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:11pm EDT
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By Rod Nickel

Sept 17 (Reuters) - Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, the world's second-biggest producer of the crop nutrient potash, is recalling workers at some of its Canadian mines as it gears up for a possible rise in production in 2015, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

The company cut its workforce by 18 percent in December, including about 570 workers in potash operations. It said in June, however, that it was rescinding about 50 layoff notices at a New Brunswick potash mine and recalling 47 workers at a Saskatchewan mine due to tight supplies of granular potash.

Chief Financial Officer Wayne Brownlee said at a Credit Suisse investor conference in New York that Potash Corp may raise its operational capability to between 10.5 million and 11 million tonnes of potash in 2015 from 9.2 million this year.

Expected growth in offshore markets and supply constraints at some of the company's competitors may allow Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp to boost volume, he said.

"What we're looking at for 2015 is making sure we have enough to respond to better demand than we thought," Brownlee said. "It's a low-cost option and so we're in the process of bringing some additional people back at some of our mines and make sure we've got the capability."

Potash Corp often reduces actual production to support the price of potash, based on demand. It sells potash to overseas buyers through Canpotex Ltd, a company it owns along fellow potash producers Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc.

Shares of Potash Corp were up 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges on Wednesday afternoon. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Peter Galloway)