India imported 42.03 lakh tonne of urea for over USD 1 billion till November in the current fiscal, the government said Tuesday.
“Urea is the only fertiliser under statutory price control and its import for direct agriculture use is permitted through state trading enterprises (STEs) namely MMTC, STC under the foreign trade policy of the government,” Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Rao Inderjit Singh said in written reply to Lok Sabha.
That apart, he said the government is importing about 20 lakh tonne of urea from Oman India Fertiliser Company (OMIFCO) under a long-term urea offtake agreement. The import of urea from OMIFCO is done through co-operatives — IFFCO and Kribhco.
According to the data, the country imported 42.03 lakh tonne of urea for USD 1,048.59 million till November of this fiscal.
During full 2017-18 fiscal, imports stood at 59.75 lakh tonne at a value of USD 1,295.72 million.
Urea imports were 54.81 lakh tonne worth USD 1,047.28 million in 2016-17 and 84.73 lakh tonne worth USD 2,087.61 million in 2015-16, the data showed.
“Import of fertilisers (other than urea) is free, commonly knows as open general licence (OGL). Various companies import these fertilisers as per their commercial judgement. The government does not maintain the value of these imports,” Singh said.
In the case of phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilisers, the country imported 52.2 lakh tonne of diammonium phosphate (DAP), 4.04 lakh tonnes of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) and 27.53 lakh tonne of muriate of potash (MOP) till November of this fiscal.
In entire 2017-18 financial year, India imported 42.17 lakh tonne of DAP, 4.99 lakh tonnes of NPK and 47.36 lakh tonne of MOP.