PotashCorp temporarily cutting production at potash mines to balance output

SASKATOON _ Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. says it’s temporarily cutting production at two mines to balance its overall output.

The Saskatoon-based company (TSX:POT) said Wednesday it will curtail production at its Allan mine for 10 weeks starting Nov. 19, and at its Lanigan operation for eight weeks starting Dec. 3.

The company said the move would help match its supply to market demand, as well as allow it to make full use of its lowest cost Rocanville facility where it recently completed a major expansion.

PotashCorp said it has not determined how many people may be temporarily laid off, since it’s looking into opportunities to reassign employees during these shutdown periods to other areas including essential services, capital projects and maintenance activities.

The company said in its September market overview that global supply and demand fundamentals continue to tighten as prices start to strengthen after years of decline.

PotashCorp is in the midst of a merger with Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) that Canadian Competition Bureau OK’d last week, with the companies expecting approvals from the U.S., India, and China before the end of the year.