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Potash stocks seen easing, but still above norm

North American potash inventories at the producer level eased slightly in September, but stocks are still far above normal levels, according to the world’s top producer of the crop nutrient, PotashCorp.

Stockpiles of potassium chloride — the key crop nutrient more commonly known as potash — decreased three per cent, or about 73,000 tonnes, to 2.332 million tonnes in September.

Inventories of the crop nutrient at the producer level now stand 39 per cent above the previous five-year average, according to data posted on PotashCorp’s website on Monday.

Spot potash prices hovered under US$500 per tonne.

A delay in new supply deals between Canpotex and key export markets China and India had caused potash supplies to swell. Canpotex is the offshore sales arm of potash mined in Saskatchewan by PotashCorp, Agrium and Mosaic Co.

New supply contracts are not expected until late this year or in early 2013.

Saskatoon-based PotashCorp recently closed its largest mine at Lanigan, Sask. for one month as the industry grappled with large supplies.

The mine at Lanigan, about 50 km south of Humboldt, reopened on Sunday, spokesman Bill Johnson said. –– Reuters

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