Nutrien to increase potash production amid Eastern Europe supply worries

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An interior view of the storage warehouse is seen at Nutrien's Cory potash mine near Saskatoon

– Canada’s Nutrien Ltd, the world’s biggest fertilizer producer, said on Wednesday it plans to increase potash output by nearly 1 million tonnes this year to about 15 million tonnes in response to the uncertainty of supply from Eastern Europe.

Potash is a key input required for producing nitrogen-containing fertilizers, and Russia and Belarus are the world’s second- and third-largest producers of the commodity after Canada.

Potash prices have soared since economic sanctions were imposed against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Belarus, Russia’s ally, has also been subject to European and U.S. sanctions that have restricted its potash exports.

Nutrien said the additional volume of potash is expected to be produced in the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, Canadian Pacific Railway, which moves potash fertilizer into the United States, has sent a lock-out notice to its employees after talks with a union on wages and other issues failed, a move that could disrupt the supply of the commodity.

A lockdown at the rail-road company could have “serious implications” for potash transport to ports for shipment to offshore buyers, Natashia Stinka, a spokeswoman for Canpotex Ltd, a company owned by Nutrien and Mosaic Co, had said earlier.

(Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Shubham Kalia; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)