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INDIA: Urea imports dip to 49.83 lakh tonnes in April-December

NEW DELHI: The country’s urea imports declined marginally to 49.83 lakh tonnes during April-December period of the current fiscal, Parliament was informed today.

The country had imported 49.88 lakh tonnes in the same period last year.

“Thus there is a decline of 0.05 lakh tonnes in import of urea during April-December of 2017-18 from over previous year,” Minister of State for Fertilisers Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

The decline in urea import has resulted in the saving of about USD 1.08 million in the said period considering the weighted average price of urea at USD 216.86 tonne, he said.

Urea is imported on government account to bridge the gap between indigenous production and demand.

The minister said the domestic urea production was 177.84 lakh tonnes during the April-December period of this fiscal.

The country’s 30 urea manufacturing units have a total installed capacity of 207.54 lakh tonnes, against which domestic output stood at 242.01 lakh tonnes in 2017-18.

To increase the fertiliser production, the Centre has approved revival of five closed units of state-owned Fertilizer Corporation Of India Ltd (FCIL) and Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Ltd (HFCL) by setting up of 1.27 million tonnes per annum urea plant at these units.

These units will be operational by 2020-21.

In a separate reply, Singh said the total urea capacity in the country after revamping of the five units at Gorakhpur, Sindri, Talcher, Ramagundam and Barauni is likely to be 304.5 lakh tonnes per annum.

The government has also decided to install a new urea plant with a capacity of 8.646 lakh tonnes per annum in the existing premises of Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Limited (BVFCL), which will subsequently replace the existing Namrup II (capacity 2.40 lakh tonnes) and Namrup III (capacity 2.70 lakh tonnes) units, he added.

“In addition, two plants of combined capacity of 26.4 lakh tonnes per annum are also being set up/commissioned in the private sector,” the minister said, adding that this will further augment capacity to nearly 330 lakh tonnes per annum.

This augmentation in production capacity should help India in moving towards achieving self-sufficiency in urea, he added.