North American potash miners whittle down supplies in April

Mon May 13, 2013 8:20pm EDT
 
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* Inventories 25 pct above 5-year average-Potash Corp

* Exports rise 7 pct in April from March

May 13 (Reuters) - North American inventories of the crop nutrient potash at the mine level dipped in April by 5.8 percent, as producers tapered back production and increased exports, the world's top producer by capacity, Potash Corp, said on Monday.

Stockpiles of potassium chloride, more commonly known as potash, slid about 186,000 tonnes from March to 3.001 million tonnes, according to data posted on Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan's website.

Inventories of the crop nutrient at the mine level still stood 25 percent above the previous five-year average. Potash production was down 3 percent from the previous month to 1.913 million tonnes.

Spot potash prices hovered a little over $400 per tonne.

Potash supplies piled up last year as key global consumers China and India delayed signing new supply contracts with Canpotex, the offshore marketing company owned by Potash Corp and fellow producers Agrium Inc and Mosaic Co.

Canpotex announced a six-month contract with China on Dec. 31, and a deal with India followed on Feb. 7.

Potash exports by the North American producers rose 7 percent in April from the previous month to 1.347 million tonnes.

Domestic sales, mainly to the United States, edged up 1 percent from the previous month to 669,000 tonnes.

The Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, where Potash Corp has its headquarters, is home to nearly half of the world's estimated reserves of potash.