UPDATE 2-Potash producers settle U.S. antitrust cases

Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:09pm EST
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* Potash Corp, Mosaic pay $43.75 mln each

* Agrium pays $10 mln

By Shounak Dasgupta and Rod Nickel

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc have settled U.S. antitrust lawsuits that accused them of artificially inflating potash prices.

Potash Corp and Mosaic paid $43.75 million each while Agrium paid $10 million to settle the cases brought by U.S. buyers in 2008, the companies said in separate statements on Wednesday.

Russian group JSC Uralkali, the world's second-largest potash producer by capacity after Canada's Potash Corp, agreed in September to settle the cases by paying $12.75 million.

Three more companies from Russia and Belarus - JSC Silvinit, JSC International Potash and JSC Belarusian Potash - were also named in the lawsuits in 2008. Uralkali and Silvinit merged in 2011.

The companies named in the lawsuits accounted for about 71 percent of global potash supply in 2008. The United States consumed 6.2 million tons of potash that year, of which 5.3 million was imported.   Continued...