North American potash stocks down on output cuts

North America’s ample stocks of potash dipped six per cent in August from the previous month after miners cut production, according to data posted on Friday on PotashCorp’s website.

Stockpiles of potassium chloride, more commonly known as potash, fell by 169,000 tonnes to 2.631 million tonnes in August.

Inventories of the crop nutrient at the mine level still stood 31 per cent above the previous five-year average.

Potash prices have been in decline, and some buyers have moved to the sidelines, after Russia’s Uralkali OAO quit its potash export partnership with Belaruskali in mid-summer and said it would focus on maximizing sales volumes.

North American potash production dropped 12 per cent from the previous month to 971,000 tonnes. PotashCorp and Mosaic Co. slowed production during the third quarter for maintenance and to adjust supply to demand.

Agrium also stopped production at its Saskatchewan mine for a few weeks for routine maintenance.

Potash exports by North American producers plunged 48 per cent in August from the previous month to 458,000 tonnes.

However, domestic sales, mainly to the U.S., jumped 85 per cent from July to 584,000 tonnes. Those sales were seven per cent lower than a year earlier.

Spot potash prices hovered around $400 per tonne. — Reuters

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