The first urea consignment of some 27,500 tons, imported by state-run grain trader from Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) under the credit facility, has reached Gwadar Port. In January this year, a commercial agreement was signed between Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) and SABIC for the supply of urea against $100 million credit facility being provided by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).
“Under this credit facility, urea arrival has started and the first consignment for the domestic consumption has reached Pakistan,” sources said. A ship MV Yu Long Ling carrying some 27,500 tons urea has reached Gwadar port on Tuesday evening. The ship was loaded and sailed from “Al-Jubail” port of Saudi Arabia few days back. Offloading of commodity is likely to start today (Wednesday), they continued.
However, they said that first shipment has been delayed by some 10 days, as the arrival of first shipment was expected in the last week of January. However, it got delayed due to some technical reasons on loading port and reached on February 12, 2013. A high official of TCP has also confirmed that first urea consignment import from Saudi Arabia under the credit facility has arrived on Tuesday evening. He said another consignment of imported urea is also schedule to reach during this month.
TCP is only assigned for the import of urea, while its bagging, transportation and distribution will be responsibility of National Fertiliser Marketing Limited (NFML) to ensure timely supply of urea to farmers to meet their Rabi requirement, the official said. Presently, the country is facing a severe shortage of urea as the local production is on decline due to gas curtailment, sources said. “Although, the country has urea production capacity of over 6.5 million tons annually against demand of 6 million tons, the local market is witnessing acute urea shortage for last two years due to low production followed by unavailability of gas,” they added. Sources said that SABIC has also nominated another ship MV Tamil Nado for second shipment of over 25,000 tons, which is expected to reach Pakistan in the last week of February.
As per initial tentative schedule provided by SABIC, some 115,000 tons of urea will be supplied during first quarter (January-March) of 2013. First shipment has already arrived, while another consignment of 40,000 tons is expected in February and third delivery of 25,000 tons of urea is likely to reach in March 2013. “As per the agreement, SABIC will supply approximately over 200,000 to 240,000 tons of urea to Pakistan under $100 million credit facility provided by SFD,” they said.