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Nutrien's Cory potash mine near Saskatoon, Sask., on Aug. 12, 2019.

Nayan Sthankiya/Reuters

Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien Ltd said on Monday it would boost 2021 output of the crop nutrient potash by 500,000 tonnes, after the European Union imposed trade sanctions on Belarus.

Nutrien’s increase takes its potash sales outlook this year to a record-high range of 13.3 million to 13.8 million tonnes, and follows a previous 500,000-tonne production increase announced this month. The company does not disclose overall production guidance.

Western powers hit Belarus with sanctions in a co-ordinated response to Minsk’s forced landing of a Ryanair plane last month to arrest a journalist on board.

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The sanctions include a ban on potash imports from Belarus, where state-owned Belaruskali is one of the world’s biggest producers, along with Nutrien. Potash prices have strengthened this year on rising demand, as farmers pocket stronger crop prices and look to maximize yields.

Saskatoon-based Nutrien said that by raising production, it was also factoring in rivals’ problems. U.S.-based Mosaic Co this month cut production at its biggest potash mine, in Saskatchewan, due to flood risks.

Nutrien also boosted first-half adjusted net earnings-per-share guidance to a range of $2.30 to $2.50, from $2 to $2.20 previously.

Prior to Nutrien’s announcements, its shares rose 1.7 per cent in Toronto to $73.70.

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