Fertilizer sales, comprising sales of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash, during the first four months of the Kharif season running from April to July of the year 2018, witnessed a decline of 6.3% compared to the off-take in the corresponding period of last year, i.e. Kharif 2017.
Of the 1473 thousand tonnes of total nutrient sales, about 483 thousand tonnes were recorded in the month of July alone, an increase of about 26.7% from the off-take recorded in July 2017. Of these 483 thousand tonnes, Nitrogen accounted for the largest share at 322 thousand tonnes, followed by Phosphate at 155 thousand tonnes and Potash at 6.2 thousand tonnes.
Compared to last year (July 2017), all three categories of fertilizer nutrients witnessed an increase in their sales during July 2018, with sales of Potash increasing by 69.7 percent over the year, followed by a 38.2 percent growth in sales of nitrogen, and 7 percent growth in sales of Phosphate.
According to data from the National Fertilizers Development Centre (NFDC) of the Planning Commission, urea sales too witnessed a decline of about 9%, falling down to 1,974 thousand tonnes in these four months compared to 2,169 thousand tonnes last year. Of these, 497 thousand tonnes of Urea were sold in the month of July alone, an increase of about 46.5 percent over the 381 thousand tonnes sold during July last year.
Of these, the highest use of urea was by Punjab at 329 thousand tonnes, followed by Sindh at 140 thousand tonnes, KP at 14 thousand tonnes and Balochistan at 14 thousand tonnes. Compared to July 2017, the highest increase in urea usage was in Punjab, where usage increased by 62 percent over the year. Urea usage in Sindh too rose by 32 percent, followed by a 4 percent growth in usage in Balochistan. KP remained the only province where urea usage fell by about 14 percent over the year.
While domestic production of urea in the month of July 2018 was only 478 thousand tons, the leftover from the previous month of about 106 thousand tons meant that a total of 584 thousand tons of urea were available to be used. Since total consumption in July was only 497 thousand tons, a total of 87 thousand tons will be available to be used at a later date.
Where urea sales have been falling in the four months of Kharif 2018, DAP sales, on the other hand, witnessed an increase of 10.3 percent, rising to 619 thousand tonnes during these four months this year, from 561 thousand tonnes sold in the same time frame of Kharif 2017.
DAP off-take in July 2018 increased by 6.6 percent over July 2017 and was recorded at 302 thousand tonnes in July 2018 with Punjab using up 223 thousand tonnes, Sindh 60 thousand tonnes, KP 10.4 thousand tonnes and Balochistan 8.5 thousand tonnes. The largest increase in July 2018 over the corresponding month of last year was in KP, where DAP usage increased by 182 percent, followed by Punjab with an increase in usage, of about 25 percent. Dap usage in both Sindh and Balochistan fell by 25 percent and 60 percent, respectively.
While domestic production of DAP in the month of July 2018 was only 73 thousand tons, the leftover from the previous month of about 406 thousand tons, which together with imported supplies of 182 thousand tons meant that a total of 661 thousand tons of DAP were available to be used. Since total consumption in July was only 302 thousand tons, a total of 359 thousand tons will be available to be used at a later date.