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CALGARY – Saskatchewan will feel the impact of a global potash price war triggered by Russia, but the blow will be lessened by industry efficiencies and continuing growth in other sectors such as oil and uranium. “We remain extraordinarily bullish,” Kent Windsor-Smith, executive director of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday.
“We don’t foresee anything slowing us in 2013. We are expecting to see a modest slowdown in the growth rate in 2014, but that was probably in the cards already and it related to the fact that a number of these capital projects are winding down and moving toward completion.”
Saskatchewan’s potash sector, which produces about a third of the world’s supply of the crop nutrient, spent heavily in recent years to modernize operations and reduce costs, making it well-positioned to weather pricing pressures, he said, while “producers in other parts of the planet may not be as cost competitive.”
Meanwhile, the province’s diversified economy, which has been growing at a blistering pace, will continue to be supported by spending in oil and uranium, and a stable agriculture base.
The price showdown was initiated by OAO Uralkali, the world’s largest potash producer, which quit a marketing venture Tuesday that controlled about 43% of global exports and signaled prices may fall by as much as a quarter.
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