Saturday, December 20, 2008

PotashCorp to cut 940 jobs, but sees strong demand in 2009

CALGARY — Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX:POT) has become the latest fertilizer producer to scale back its operations, but companies and analysts predict a strong outlook for the sector in 2009 for one simple reason: people still need to eat during a recession.

The Saskatoon-based firm issued temporary layoff notices to 940 employees for eight weeks starting Jan. 18 at its three largest mines in Rocanville, Lanigan and Allan in Saskatchewan, spokesman Bill Johnson said Friday.

On Thursday, Potash cut its 2009 earnings guidance to $10.75 per share, down from an earlier forecast of $12 to $13 per share.

The company recently announced a two-million-tonne production curtailment starting in January and said it expects 2009 potash volumes to be similar to slightly above 2008 levels.

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