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Canada's Nutrien to temporarily shut its largest potash mine due to rail strike

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By Rod Nickel

Nov 25 (Reuters) - Canada's Nutrien Ltd, the world's biggest fertilizer company by capacity, said on Monday it would temporarily shut its largest potash mine due to a railway strike.

The strike by some 3,200 unionized employees at Canadian National Railway Co entered its seventh day, leaving more than 30 vessels waiting on Canada's West Coast.

Nutrien and rival Mosaic Co export potash from a terminal on the coast through their jointly owned logistics company, Canpotex Ltd.

Nutrien said in a statement that it would shut its Rocanville, Saskatchewan mine for two weeks starting Dec. 2.

“It is extremely disappointing that in a year when the agricultural sector has been severely impacted by poor weather and trade disputes, the CN strike will add further hardship to the Canadian agriculture industry,” Nutrien Chief Executive Chuck Magro said. “Any further disruption will be harmful to our business, the Canadian economy, and Canada’s competitive position and reputation as a reliable supplier of fertilizer and food."

Separately, Canpotex spokeswoman Natashia Stinka said the company was concerned about any disruption to its shipments as it relies heavily on CN Rail.

A Mosaic spokesman could not be immediately reached. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba Editing by Chris Reese)