UPDATE 2-K+S shares tumble as potash miner sticks to expansion

Tue Aug 6, 2013 10:55am EDT
 
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* CEO says new Canadian mine on track

* "Speculation" on potash prices won't spell end to venture

* Scraps forecast of higher 2013 operating profit

* Shares extend losses, trade 9.4 pct lower (Recasts lead, adds analyst comment, industry background)

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Shares in K+S tumbled to an almost seven-year low on Tuesday as the world's fourth-largest potash miner stuck to an expansion project in Canada despite a widely expected slide in prices of the key fertiliser mineral.

Uralkali sent shockwaves through the potash industry last week by predicting a decline of more then 25 percent in the potash price to below $300 per tonne after it abandoned an export joint venture with Belaruskali.

Belaruskali partnered Uralkali for eight years in a venture that once held 43 percent of global potash exports. The end of that partnership heralds a price war for the crop nutrient.

"Our (Canadian) Legacy project is on track. We will not call this important venture into question in response to mere speculation," K+S Chief Executive Norbert Steiner said in a statement on Tuesday.   Continued...