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Canpotex Limited
Industry Exporting and marketing
Founded 1970 (1970)
Headquarters Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Area served
Key people
Bill Doyle Chairman
Products Potash
Owner Agrium, The Mosaic Company, and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan
Number of employees
88 (2009)
Footnotes / references

Canpotex, short for Canadian Potash Exporters (reporting mark PTEX), is a Canadian potash exporting and marketing firm, incorporated in 1970 and operating since 1972.[1] Based in Saskatchewan, Canpotex manages the entire Saskatchewan potash exporting industry (excluding Canadian and US sales), including transportation and delivery.[2] It has been criticized as a "cartel".[3]

Canpotex is the world's largest exporter of potash, selling over nine million tonnes of potash in 2008,[1] representing about one-third of global capacity.[4][5] The global potash market was considered a duopoly between Canpotex and Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), a similar consortium which exported Belarusian (Belaruskali) and Russian potash (Uralkali); until the BPC marketing venture failed in 2013, the two collectively controlled 70% of global potash exports.[6]

Member producers[edit]

Canpotex is wholly owned by its three member producers:[1][5]

Recently, two of Canpotex's shareholders; Potash Corp and Agrium have proposed to merge to form a combined new parent company. If the combination goes through, it will form the world’s largest crop-nutrient supplier.[7] In August 2010, Australian mining giant BHP Billiton announced intentions to acquire PotashCorp, though its bid was blocked by the Canadian government in November 2010 and subsequently withdrawn.[5][8] BHP publicly intended to exit the Canpotex partnership as it prefers to market its minerals itself.[9] As over half of Canpotex's sales volumes ware produced by PotashCorp, both Agrium and Mosaic issued concerns.[5] The Saskatchewan government also issued concerns, citing that the breakup of Canpotex would likely result in lower tax revenues for the government.[10]


The majority of Canpotex potash is shipped to west coast terminals via CPR lines, in dedicated covered hopper railway cars
Canpotex potash railway car on display at the Saskatchewan Railway Museum.

Canpotex operates over 5,500 specialised covered hopper cars for inland transportation of potash from landlocked Saskatchewan to ports,[11] and operates solely on Canadian Pacific Railway lines.[12] In 2011, Canpotex started on the construction of a new $55 million rail car maintenance yard near the town of Lanigan, Saskatchewan used to perform maintenance and manage the inventory of railcars.[13]

The majority of its potash is shipped overseas to Asian, Latin American, and Oceanic markets[14] through Neptune Terminals, partly owned by Canpotex, in North Vancouver, British Columbia.[15] Since 1997, Canpotex has additionally exported through Portland Terminals (owned by Canpotex and operated by Kinder Morgan) in Portland, Oregon.[15] Canpotex additionally ships smaller quantities of potash through the St. Lawrence Seaway via Thunder Bay, Ontario, and has access to ports on the East Coast of the United States and Gulf of Mexico.[16]


Canpotex has committed $900 million to the manufacture of 15 cargo vessels. The first of these vessels, the U-Sea Saskatchewan, built as a joint venture with Ultrabulk received its first load of 58,000 metric tons of potash in the Port of Vancouver in November 2010.[17] The U-Sea Saskatchewan was built by Imabari Shipbuilding of Japan and is capable of carrying 60,000 metric tons.[18] Other ships include the Ultra Colonsay.


  1. ^ a b c d "Canpotex Limited - Complete Profile". Industry Canada. 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  2. ^ "Handling & Delivery". Canpotex. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ogg, John C. (2008-04-16). "Canpotex Owners Surge On Potash Price Hikes For China". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  5. ^ a b c d Buow, Brenda (2010-08-24). "Canpotex fate spurs closer look at Potash Corp. takeover". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  6. ^ Regan, James; Zheng, Tracy (2010-08-24). "Analysis: Possible change in potash pricing worries China". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "BHP Billiton walks away from PotashCorp". CBC News. 2010-11-14. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  9. ^ Krugel, Lauren (2010-08-19). "Small Sask. potash producers bask in glow of BHP bid for Potash Corp.". Yahoo! Finance. Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 2010-10-17. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  10. ^ Owram, Kristine (2010-10-04). "BHP's PotashCorp bid would cut Saskatchewan revenue without adding jobs". The Record. Kitchener-Waterloo. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  11. ^ "Inland Transportation". Canpotex. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  12. ^ "Canpotex Submission to the Canadian Transportation Agency with respect to the Review of the Railway Interswitching Regulations". Canpotex. 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  13. ^ "Canpotex to build repair facility in Saskatchewan for rail cars carrying potash". Global Saskatoon. 2011-04-19. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  14. ^ "The Market". Canpotex. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  15. ^ a b "Terminal Operations". Canpotex. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  16. ^ "Handling & Delivery". Canpotex. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  17. ^ Press Release November, 19, 2010
  18. ^ Arrival in Port of Vancouver