Vancouver port strike hitting potash exports at crunch time for overseas farmers – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 6, 2023)

The strike at four British Columbia ports is putting more pressure on an already-stressed international potash shipping network, with overseas farmers potentially caught in the crosshair. Nutrien Ltd, The Mosaic Company and K+S Potash Canada operate large potash mines in Saskatchewan, and all rely heavily on shipping the agricultural commodity overseas from the West Coast.

Canpotex Ltd., which handles potash shipments for Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd. and Tampa-based Mosaic, sends 70 per cent of its international shipments through the Port of Vancouver, one of four facilities affected by the strike.

“The timing couldn’t be worse,” said Natashia Stinka, spokesperson for Canpotex in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail. “Shipments are time sensitive for crops’ growing seasons and our overseas markets are counting on Canpotex to reliably deliver the potash they need.”

About 7,400 members of The International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) went on strike on Saturday at the Port of Vancouver and three smaller ports in the province, after failing to reach terms on a new collective agreement with management.

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