KARACHI: The country’s urea offtake grew by 35 per cent to 1.707 million tonnes during the first four months of calendar 2021 from 1.266m tonnes in the same period last year.
However, the DAP sales remained pegged at 360,000 tonnes versus 361,000 tonnes in 4MCY21.
As per latest data of fertiliser offtake issued by National Fertiliser Development Company (NFDC), urea sales in April rose by 28pc to 309,000 tonnes from 242,000 tonnes in April 2020 mainly on account of improving farm economics, low-base effect and increase in urea production due to resumption of production by LNG-based plants.
Farmers and dealers delayed urea purchases in April 2020 due to expectations of fertiliser subsidy announcement which later included Rs243 per bag relief in urea. On the other hand, urea volumes contracted by 10pc sequentially owing to seasonal factors. This has taken the cumulative urea sales to 1.71m tonnes in 4MFY21, up by 35pc year-on-year, Research Analyst at BMA Capital, Noor Huda Shaikh said.
Contrary to this, DAP sales plunged by 70pc to 46,000 tonnes in April from 151,000 tonnes in April 2020 primarily due to hike in local prices and anticipation of subsidy announcement in the upcoming budget, he said.
International DAP prices continued to remain high between $540-560 per tonne due to sourcing difficulties. The current market prices are between Rs5,500-5,600 per bag, he said.
Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2021