North American potash stocks dip 6 pct after output cuts

Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:46pm EDT
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Sept 13 (Reuters) - North America's ample stocks of the crop nutrient potash dipped 6 percent in August from the previous month after miners cut production, according to data posted on Friday on Potash Corp of Saskatchewan's website.

Stockpiles of potassium chloride, more commonly known as potash, fell by 169,000 tonnes to 2.631 million tonnes in August.

Inventories of the crop nutrient at the mine level still stood 31 percent above the previous five-year average.

Potash prices have been in decline, and some buyers have moved to the sidelines, after Russia's Uralkali OAO quit its potash export partnership with Belaruskali in mid-summer and said it would focus on maximizing sales volumes.

North American potash production dropped 12 percent from the previous month to 971,000 tonnes. Potash Corp and Mosaic Co slowed production during the third quarter for maintenance and to adjust supply to demand.

Agrium Inc also stopped production at its Saskatchewan mine for a few weeks for routine maintenance.

Potash exports by North American producers plunged 48 percent in August from the previous month to 458,000 tonnes.

However, domestic sales, mainly to the United States, jumped 85 percent from July to 584,000 tonnes. Those sales were 7 percent lower than a year earlier.

Spot potash prices hovered around $400 per tonne.