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Urea offtake up 30pc, DAP down 38pc in Feb

March 29, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Urea fertiliser offtake during February 2022 increased 30 percent, while that of diammonium phosphate (DAP) declined 38 percent because of an unprecedented hike in the prices of these nutrients in international markets, data showed on Monday.

The country’s around 90 percent of the country’s demand is met through imports. National Fertilizer Development Company (NDFC) in its monthly report said urea and DAP sales stood at 406,000 tonnes and 89,000 tonnes, respectively, in February 2021.

Analysts attributed the hike in urea offtake to higher sales by Engro Fertilizers compared to last year when the company waited for price increase. In five months (October-February 2021-22) of the Rabi season, total urea offtake was recorded at 2.811 million tonnes; however, it was 2.4 percent less than the total offtake in the same period last year.

In February, the price of urea was Rs1,973/50kg in the Pakistani market, while imported urea was in the range of Rs6,149 to Rs7,220/bag.

Similarly, Freight on Board (FOB) bulk China urea price stood at $540 to $560/ tonne. Besides, bulk DAP Australia prices were hovering between $872 to $875/tonne. According to the NDFC data, urea offtake in Punjab increased 17 percent and KP by 19 percent, but strangely in Sindh province, it increased 114 percent, while in Balochistan it declined 20 percent.

For the Kharif season, which starts on April 1, there would be 294,000 tonnes of inventory. Total urea availability would be 3.087 million tonnes, including 2.794 million tonnes of local production. However, the offtake may rise to 3.364 million tonnes.

During these five months of the current Rabi season, DAP offtake was 847,000 tonnes, which was 12.2 percent less than the same period last year. According to the NDFC report, the price of DAP was Rs9,347/50kg bag in February 2022 against Rs9,237/bag in January 2022. In China, DAP FOB bulk price was in the range of $870 to $902 per tonne.

DAP offtake in Punjab declined 38 percent, Sindh 30 percent, KP 67 percent, and in Balochistan sales of this fertilser fell 28 percent in the month under review compared to the same month of the last year.

According to the data, in Kharif 2022, 675,000 tonnes of DAP would be available to the farmers. This includes 255,000 tonnes of opening inventory and 420,000 tonnes of domestic production. In Pakistan, total DAP demand is estimated at around 1 million tonnes.

According to the NDFC monthly report, the country’s overall nutrients offtake increased by 7.7 percent to 334,000 tonnes during February 2022 from 310,000 tonnes in the same month last year.

The report said that about 743,000 tonnes of different fertiliser products were produced in Pakistan during the month of February 2022. The major share was of urea (70 percent) with 520,000 tonnes. Other products were DAP (70,000 tonnes), Nitrophos (72,000 tonnes), CAN (68,000 tonnes), SOP (1,500 tonnes), SSP (4,500 tonnes) and various grades of NPK (7,000 tonnes). Total imported supplies were 67,000 tonnes comprising 50,000 tonnes of urea, 16,000 tonnes of DAP 600 tonnes of SOP and a small quantity of MOP i.e. 10 tonnes during February 2022.