November 24, 2009 / 4:24 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Uralkali delays potash growth, eyes market rebound

* To raise potash capacity to 7 mln tonnes/year by 2012

* Expansion will be one year later than planned

* Cites slow recovery of global potash market

(Adds details)

MOSCOW, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Potash miner Uralkali (URKA.MM) will take an extra year to boost annual production capacity by more than 25 percent, the company said on Tuesday, as demand for the soil nutrient is taking longer than expected to recover.

Uralkali said it plans to raise potash capacity to 7 million tonnes per year in 2012. The company, whose Belarus-based export agent accounts for over 30 percent of global potash sales, had earlier scheduled the expansion for 2011. [ID:nN2393809]

“Analysis of the potash market shows that, although the industry’s fundamentals remain very strong, it will take some time for demand to recover to the pre-crisis level,” Uralkali said in a statement.

“Uralkali has therefore taken the prudent decision to reschedule the launch of new production capacity to 2012, by which time potash demand might recover to absorb the increased supply,” it said.

Uralkali said its annual production capacity in both 2010 and 2011 would be 5.5 million tonnes. (Reporting by Robin Paxton; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter) ((; +7 495 775 1242; Reuters Messaging:

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