Fertiliser import of 300,000 tons may be insufficient to meet the requirements of Rabi crops and the country may face a shortage of 658,000 tons in the season, it was leant. Sources told Business Recorder that the issue was discussed during the last Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet during a presentation of the Finance Ministry on fertiliser situation for the Rabbi 2012-13.
While giving a presentation on ”review of economic indicators”, Senior Finance Ministry officials stated that the country might face urea shortage during the next crop as the total requirement was estimated at three million tons and total availability of urea, including the import of 300,000 tons, around 2.342 million tons. This reflects an estimated shortfall of 658,000 tons of urea in the season.
The official said that the opening stock of urea was 308,000 tons, imports were 300,000 tons, and domestic production was estimated at 1.734 million. The meeting was informed that the assumption was that all gas-based plants would remain closed for the entire Rabi season.
The stock position of Di Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertiliser was estimated at 143,000 tons after Rabbi Crops. The official reported total availability of DAP in the country at 928,000 tons with 307,000 million tons opening inventory and 285,000 tons of imports. The requirement or off-take for Rabbi crops was estimated at 785,000 tons, reflecting a surplus stock of 143,000 tons.
Sources quoted senior Commerce Ministry officials as saying that the tender for import of 300,000 tons had been floated on August 27 this year and in response 12 pre-qualified suppliers participated in the bidding. The tender awarding committee decided to award the contract for import of fertiliser to the four lowest bidders at $399 per metric tons (PMT) and the shipment is expected to arrive in Pakistan in September this year. An official said that the high price of fertiliser and their negative impact on urea off-take was also discussed in the meeting with some participants expressing concerns over the average decrease in urea consumption.