* TSX rises 23.57 points, or 0.18 percent, to 12,844.49 * Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance * BlackBerry climbs about 5 percent after buyout report By John Tilak TORONTO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced on Monday after positive Chinese data lifted shares of commodity producers on optimism that China's economy may be set for stronger growth. Among the top gainers, fertilizer producer Potash Corp added 5.5 percent on market speculation that a resolution might be in sight for a dispute with Russia that split the Belarus potash consortium, a development that could herald higher potash prices. "The rebound (in Potash Corp) may be a reflection of people thinking that the Russians may not engage in a price war," said Gavin Graham, chief strategy officer at Integris Pension Management Corp. BlackBerry climbed 4.6 percent after a report that an investor, Fairfax Financial, was closing in on a rescue deal for the smartphone maker. Data on Monday showed Chinese export growth topped expectations in August. That complemented recent data signaling slightly improving conditions in the United States, with investors expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve might soon began dialing back its stimulus measures. "The economy is growing strongly enough in North America to have the Fed talking about tapering their quantitative easing support," Graham said. "The numbers we've seen, whether it's Canadian or the U.S., seem to indicate that all the stimulus that they've pumped in has led to a rebound, whether it is U.S. housing, auto sales or even commodity prices," he added. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 23.57 points, or 0.18 percent, at 12,844.49. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, climbed 0.3 percent, with gains in Potash offsetting a decline in gold producers. Potash shares jumped to C$33.10 and had the biggest positive influence on the market. Goldcorp Inc lost 1.3 percent to C$30.16, and Eldorado Gold Corp gave back 3 percent to C$8.51. Shares of energy companies added 0.4 percent. Suncor Energy Inc rose 0.6 percent to C$36.89. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gained 0.2 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 0.4 percent at C$91.53, and Manulife Financial Corp, rose 0.9 percent to C$17.85. BlackBerry advanced to C$11.81, pushing the information technology sector up 0.8 percent.