UPDATE 1-K+S to step up cost-cuts as potash price war looms
* CEO letter says customers holding back on potash orders
* Says no new potash price has been established
* Cost cuts to be specified in next few weeks (Adds more details from letter, background on potash market)
FRANKFURT, Aug 30 (Reuters) - German potash miner K+S will step up efforts to cut costs in anticipation of lower prices for its fertilizer minerals, its chief executive told staff in a letter seen by Reuters on Friday.
Russia's Uralkali quit one of the world's two big potash cartels last month, heralding a price war for the crop nutrient and pummelling the shares of companies that produce it.
"Currently we are witnessing a notable restraint in ordering on the part of our customers, because a new, stable price level has not been established yet. But it is undeniable that the global potash market is bracing for lower prices," K+S Chief Executive Norbert Steiner said in the letter.
All business areas would have to contribute to the cutbacks, he said.
The group will specify the measures and their cost cutting potential in the next few weeks, a company spokesman said.
In the letter, Steiner reaffirmed the mining group's commitment to its expansion plans in Canada.
Some analysts have recently said they expected K+S to postpone the planned C$4.1 billion ($3.9 billion) investment in a new Canadian mine called Legacy.
At 0825 GMT, K+S shares traded 1.3 percent lower, underperforming a 0.9 percent decline in Germany's benchmark DAX index. ($1 = 1.0514 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger, Andreas Kroener and Christoph Steitz; Editing by Erica Billingham)