* North America potash inventories down sharply in March
* Inventories now 21 pct below prior five-year average
TORONTO, April 14 (Reuters) - North American potash inventories at the producer level fell for a fifth straight month according to the latest data from Potash Corp POT.TO, but despite tightening inventory levels, the pricing of the crop nutrient failed to show strong signs of improvement.
Potash inventories fell slightly more than 260,000 tonnes in March, to below 2 million tonnes, the lowest level in over a year, the world’s largest producer of the nutrient said late on Wednesday.
North American inventories now stand 21 percent below the prior five-year average, but pricing of potash has remained almost flat at roughly $350 a tonne, according to data posted on Potash Corp’s website.
Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. brokerage firm Goldman Sachs removed Potash Corp from its conviction buy list and downgraded rival fertilizer producer Mosaic Co (MOS.N) to “neutral,” arguing that an anticipated $30 per short ton potash price hike seemed to be losing support within the industry. [ID:nSGE63D0BH] (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Michael Urquhart)