* Inventories 38 pct above 5-year average -Potash Corp
* Exports rose 24 pct in February from January
* Growth occurs despite an increase in exports
March 15 (Reuters) - North American potash inventories at the producer level climbed in February, despite an increase in exports, according to the world’s top producer of the crop nutrient, Potash Corp.
Stockpiles of potassium chloride, the crop nutrient more commonly known as potash, rose 4.5 percent to 3.263 million tonnes, according to data posted on Potash Corp’s website on Friday.
Inventories of the crop nutrient at the producer level stood 38 percent above the previous five-year average.
Spot potash prices have eased to a little over $400 per tonne.
Potash supplies piled up last year as key global consumers China and India delayed signing new supply contracts with Canpotex, the offshore marketing company owned by Potash Corp, Agrium Inc and Mosaic Co. Canpotex announced a six-month contract with China on Dec. 31, and a deal with India followed on Feb. 7.
Potash exports by the North American producers climbed 24 percent in February from the previous month to 812,000 tonnes, 26 percent above the pace set a year earlier.
Domestic sales, mainly to the United States, jumped 62 percent from the previous month to 769,000 tonnes.
The vast majority of the potash produced in North America is mined in the Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, where Potash Corp has its headquarters.