Intrepid Potash says Q3 sales dropped due to Texas drought weighing on demand, but average prices for fertilizer increased an estimated US$343/ton year-over-year

DENVER , October 14, 2011 () – Intrepid Potash Inc. said Thursday that third-quarter sales fell as drought in Texas reduced demand for the fertilizer, but average prices rose.

The company estimated that its average sales price for potash sold in the quarter was $485 to $495 per ton, up from $343 per ton a year earlier, when competitors slashed prices.

The company estimated that it sold between 185,000 tons and 195,000 tons. It sold 221,000 tons in the third quarter of last year.

The company said it shifted some sales from drought-stricken Texas to other states, although at higher shipping costs. Sales were also hurt by customers who delayed shipments because of Midwest flooding, it said.

Intrepid said it produced 165,000 to 175,000 tons in the latest period, roughly in line with the 166,000 tons produce in last year's third quarter.

The company said it finished a scheduled annual maintenance shutdown at a mine and plant near Carlsbad, N.M., and a mine in Moab, Utah, began harvest in mid-September.

Intrepid is scheduled to report third-quarter results after the market closes on Nov. 2.

In trading Thursday, the shares fell 10 cents to close at $27.71.

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