July 18, 2011 / 2:48 PM / 7 years ago

Shares of Potash Corp, rivals slide as grain prices wilt

* N. American inventory data points to tight market

* Shares of Potash Corp, Mosaic and Agrium down slightly (Figures in U.S. dollars, unless noted)

TORONTO, July 18 (Reuters) - Shares of Potash Corp and other fertilizer producers ebbed on Monday despite bullish industry data as a decline in U.S. corn and wheat prices signaled weaker demand for crop nutrients. [ID:nL3E7II1CS]

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp POT.TO POT.N, the world’s top fertilizer maker, said North American potash inventories at the producer level tightened further in June.

Potash inventories as of the end of June fell more than 270,000 tonnes from the end of May, according to data posted on Potash Corp’s website. North American inventories currently are about 26 percent below the prior 5-year average.

Potash Corp, which is also one of the world’s top producers of its namesake nutrient, reported that average potash selling prices moved closer to $500 a tonne, indicating that price increases both domestically and overseas have begun to gain traction.

The latest set of data also indicated that North American inventories of di-ammonium phosphate — a phosphate-based nutrient, fell 83,000 short tonnes in June. DAP inventories at the producer level are currently 32 percent below the historical average.

Despite the bullish data shares of Potash Corp and those of its smaller rivals like Mosaic Co (MOS.N) and Agrium Inc AGU.TO slipped on Monday, as wheat, corn and soybean futures fell.

Shares of Potash Corp fell 25 Canadian cents to C$56.13 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while its shares fell 1 percent to $58.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares of Mosaic fell 30 cents to $66.55 in early trading on the NYSE, while those of Agrium were down 1 percent. ($1= $0.96 Canadian) (Reporting by Euan Rocha)

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