* Down 221,000 tonnes to 2.4 mln T
* Lower India demand contributing to surplus
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Sept 17 North American
potash inventories dipped nearly 9 percent in August at the
producer level, but were still one-third larger than the
five-year average, according to the world's top producer of the
crop nutrient, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc
Stockpiles of potassium chloride, the key crop nutrient more
commonly known as potash, shrank 221,000 tonnes to 2.353 million
tonnes in August from the previous month, according to data
posted on Potash Corp's website on Monday.
Spot potash prices hovered under $500 per tonne.
One of the reasons miners are sitting on such large
stockpiles is reduced demand from India, the world's
second-largest potash buyer. The weakening rupee and a reduction
in fertilizer subsidies by the Indian government have made
potash more expensive to farmers.
Potash Corp is whittling down its surplus supplies somewhat
by shutting down its biggest mine, at Lanigan, Saskatchewan, for
nearly a month starting on Sept. 15.
The vast majority of the potash produced in North America is
mined in the Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, where
Potash Corp is headquartered. Minnesota-based Mosaic Co
and Calgary, Alberta-based Agrium Inc are the
other two large potash miners in the province.