April 16 (Reuters) - North American potash inventories at the producer level, a key indicator of market sentiment, rose surprisingly in March ahead of the region’s spring planting season, according to the world’s top producer of the crop nutrient, Potash Corp .
Stockpiles of potassium chloride -- the key crop nutrient more commonly known as potash -- rose more than 9 percent to 3.29 million tonnes in March, which is usually when a seasonal demand uptick leads to a pullback in inventory levels.
Inventories of the crop nutrient at the producer level now stand 49 percent above the prior five-year average, according to data posted on Potash Corp’s website.
The data also indicated that pricing for standard grade potash is holding relatively steady around the $500 a tonne mark.
The vast majority of the potash produced in North America is mined in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, where Potash Corp is headquartered. Minnesota-based Mosaic Co and Calgary, Alberta-based Agrium Inc are the other two large potash miners in the province.