UPDATE 1-Mosaic idles Saskatchewan potash mine, lays off hundreds

Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:56am EDT
 
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(Adds company confirming cuts, CEO comment, share activity)

July 13 (Reuters) - Fertilizer producer Mosaic Co has idled production at its Colonsay, Saskatchewan potash mine in western Canada for the rest of 2016, and temporarily laid off 330 workers, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Potash prices are hovering around the lowest levels seen in a decade, amid excessive output capacity and delays in setting annual supply contracts with Chinese buyers, weakening miners' profits.

"Lower global potash demand and market prices require that we curtail production," said Chief Executive Joc O'Rourke.

Mosaic shares rose 0.3 percent to $26.57 in midday New York trading.

The Colonsay mine's capacity is 2.6 million tonnes annually. Mosaic said its other lower-cost Saskatchewan mines would continue production.

Mosaic also trimmed the workforce and reduced output at Colonsay last year. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, editing by G Crosse)