India imports urea worth $ 614 million during April-July

NEW DELHI: India imported over 2 million tonnes (MT) of urea in the first four months of this fiscal worth $ 614 million (about Rs 3,700 crore) to meet domestic demand, which is expected to further rise on good monsoon. 

The country had imported 7.04 million tonnes of urea in the entire 2012-13 fiscal for nearly $ 3 billion, according to the 
Fertiliser Ministrydata. 

Out of 2 million tonnes of urea imported so far, the government has imported 1.34 million from 
OMIFCO, which is a joint venture project of IFFCO and Kribhco, with an offtake agreement. Another 0.69 million tonnes has been imported through state trading enterprises (STEs). 

Urea is imported by three 
STEs - Indian Potash Ltd (IPL), MMTC and STC on behalf of the government to meet domestic shortfall. The country produces about 22 million tonnes against an annual domestic demand of 30 million tonnes. 

According to data, import of P&K fertilisers (such as DAP and MOP) have touched 1.93 million tonnes in the April-July period of this fiscal. 

India had imported 8.14 million tonnes of P&K fertilisers during last fiscal. Unlike urea, the demand of P&K nutrients is largely met through imports. 

A Fertiliser Ministry official said the demand is expected to rise this year as sowing area rose on the back of good monsoon. 

In 2012, urea demand was subdued due to drought in four states - Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. 

Urea is provided to farmers at a fixed subsidised maximum retail price (MRP) of Rs 5,360 per tonne. 

The difference between the cost of production and MRP of urea is provided as subsidy.