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Potash Corp. to cut more than 1,000 jobs

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ROB GILLIES | December 3, 2013 03:33 PM EST | AP

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TORONTO (AP) — Potash Corp. is cutting more than 1,000 jobs, about 18 percent of its workforce, because of slumping demand for potash and phosphate, two key fertilizer ingredients.

The Saskatchewan-based company said Tuesday it will cut 440 jobs in its home Canadian province of Saskatchewan, 130 in New Brunswick, 350 in Florida, 85 in North Carolina, and 40 in other U.S. regions and Trinidad.

The company controls more than 25 percent of the world's supply of potash, which helps farmers boost crop production.

Potash CEO Bill Doyle says they must make steps to run a sustainable business.

Shares of nutrient companies were hammered this year after news that a big Russian fertilizer company would stop cooperating in a pricing cartel.

Potash has been selling for around $300 per ton, about $100 less than earlier this year.

What was once a little-known resource became a symbol of national pride in Canada in 2010 when the Canadian government rejected Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton's $38 billion foreign takeover of Potash Corp. Potash Corp. is one of the Saskatchewan's largest revenue-generating companies.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said the government would help those affected find work in other sectors.

Wall noted that BHP Billiton and K+S are building potash mines in Saskatchewan and their plans have not changed.