March 22, 2019 (MLN): Urea sales have witnessed a mere rise of 0.9% in the five months of Rabi season this year (Oct-Feb, FY19), as per data released by the National Fertilizers Development Centre (NFDC) of the Planning Commission. The urea sales during the period have added up to 2.6 million tonnes.
Of these 2.6 million tonnes sold, only 388.2 thousand tonnes of offtake has been recorded for the month of February, which is the smallest quantity of sale compared to sales in the remaining months.
Urea offtake in February alone has risen by 4.9% over the year, owing to timely rainfall this season which means that farmers’ must have been ready to sow their crops, thus increasing demand.
The largest portion of these 388 thousand tonnes was sold in Punjab, about 260 thousand tonnes. From the remaining amount, 91 thousand tonnes were sold in Sindh, 21 thousand tonnes in KP and 16 thousand tonnes in Baluchistan, while 100 tonnes of urea was sold in AJK.
Compared to February 2018, the highest increment in urea usage is recorded for Sindh where usage expanded by 22% (from 74,000 tonnes to 91,000 tonnes). Meanwhile, usage in Baluchistan increased by 17%, and that in KP increased by 6%. Punjab on the other hand observed marginal decline in urea offtake.
The domestic production of urea in the month of February 2019 was only 373.4 thousand tons, due to disrupted operations of LNG based power plants (Agritech and Fatima Fertilizers) and scheduled maintenance of other urea plants (EFERT and FFBL).
The locally produced urea along with the leftover from previous month of about 71 thousand tons, meant that a total of 444.6 thousand tons of urea were available to be used. Since total consumption in February was only 388.2 thousand tons, a total of over 54 thousand tons will be available to be used at a later date.
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