Potash Corp. cuts jobs, Canadian potash output as prices sag – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – November 24, 2016)


Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. is slashing 140 jobs at its potash mine in Cory, Sask., as it continues to struggle with a glut of its namesake product. The company, which boasts the world’s largest capacity to produce fertilizer, has been hammered by falling prices as a wave of new potash production has overwhelmed global demand.

It is responding to the dismal market by cutting output, mothballing a large portion of its productive capacity and focusing on its lowest cost mines. It is also searching for potential synergies by merging with rival fertilizer producer Agrium Inc., which has a direct-to-farmer retail network.

Potash Corp. said Wednesday that it would trim production at the Cory mine to 0.8 million tonnes a year from 1.4 million. The cuts will mean the loss of 100 full-time and 40 part-time jobs.

In addition, it will curtail production for six weeks at its Lanigan, Sask., mine starting in January and for 12 weeks at Allan, Sask., beginning in February. It is not yet sure how many temporary layoffs will result.

The cuts are the latest in a series of wrenching moves designed to shift output to the company’s cheapest producers. In January, Potash Corp. mothballed its practically brand new Picadilly mine in Sussex, N.B., resulting in the loss of more than 400 jobs.

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