Over 5m tonnes of urea sold in 10 months

Published November 10, 2021
Dealers in various parts of the country are fleecing the farmers by selling the commodity in excess of Rs2,000 per bag. — Reuters/File
Dealers in various parts of the country are fleecing the farmers by selling the commodity in excess of Rs2,000 per bag. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: During the first 10 months (January-October) of the current calendar year, 5.1 million tonnes of urea was sold as compared to 4.6m tonnes in the same period last year.

The fertiliser industry fulfilled the increasing domestic demand by supplying 10 per cent additional urea as compared to last year.

The industry is providing urea at a record discount of 83 per cent, equivalent to Rs8,500 per bag to international prices enabled by the Fertiliser Policy 2001.

Sher Shah Malik, Executive Director, Fertiliser Manufacturers of Pakistan Advisory Council, said in a statement as the local industry continued to ensure adequate and affordable supply of urea, an unprecedented level of discount to international prices has led to market manipulation and significant black marketing by middlemen/dealers.

While the urea industry’s maximum retail price is Rs1,768 per bag, the dealers in various parts of the country are fleecing the farmers by selling the commodity in excess of Rs2,000 per bag.

“I have informed the chief secretaries of Punjab and Sindh that fertiliser dealers needed to be deterred by the district administration from profiteering,” he said.

The perception of shortage of urea in the market was not real as the industry has already sold over 5m tonnes from January to October this year, a milestone never achieved in the past 10 years, Mr Malik said

Furthermore, with continued operation of RLNG plants and adequate inventory levels, the fertiliser industry would be able to meet the full year demand of 6.3m tonnes — a record in 10 years on the back of improved farm economics, he said.

The government has recently issued an import tender of 100,000 tonnes of urea while C&F prices are in the range of $900-1,000 per tonne.

Mr Malik said if the local industry did not play its role in ensuring adequate and affordable urea, imports of the fertiliser would have led to significant depletion of foreign exchange reserves and a sharp rise in the current account deficit.

He said the manufacturers have installed capacity of over 6m tonnes per annum of urea subject to availability of gas.

The government has aimed at maintaining 200,000 tonnes of buffer stock of urea in the country after inventory sales and it has issued import tender in view of 100,000-125,000 tonnes stock to avert any urea shortage, he said.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Updating the economy
22 Jan, 2022

Updating the economy

GDP rebasing doesn’t make countries or people richer; it is just about updated data for policymakers to make informed decisions.
22 Jan, 2022

Covid curbs

CONSIDERING the steep rise in Covid-19 cases in the country over the past few days, the government decided on...
22 Jan, 2022

Cricket hope

SIX Pakistan players named across three teams of the year announced by the ICC is a testament to an uplifting 2021...
Emergency rumours
21 Jan, 2022

Emergency rumours

ISLAMABAD is once again in the grip of rumours. The latest issue finding traction revolves around a mysterious...
TTP attack
Updated 21 Jan, 2022

TTP attack

MONDAY night’s assault on a police party in Islamabad, which left one cop dead and two injured, marks a ...
21 Jan, 2022

Murree suspensions

ON Wednesday, the Met Office issued a red alert for more heavy snowfall in Murree over the coming weekend, and...