ISLAMABAD: The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has been asked to expedite the process to import 150,000 tons of urea for the upcoming Rabi crops.
The directive was given at a high level meeting in Islamabad held to discuss the current situation and decide the future course of action over the availability of urea.
TCP officials informed the meeting that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had approved the import of 100,000 tons for Kharif season 2015. Accordingly, TCP had floated two tenders (50,000 tons each) and two consignments are expected to arrive by the third week of July 2015.
It was also informed that the ECC had approved an additional 0.15 million tons and directed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Division (EAD) to identify a credit line to finance the import. Later, the finance ministry allowed the EAD to initiate the financial agreement with Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) amounting to $50 million.
Currently, the international market price of urea is $253 per ton, while the average annual price of urea is $300. By signing the aforesaid agreement, Pakistan will be able to import urea ranging from 197,623 to 166,667 tons.
At home, Pakistan’s installed annual capacity of fertiliser plants is 6.9 million tons, while its requirement is 6.5 million tons.
The local price of urea is Rs1,887 per 50kg, while imported urea costs Rs1,786, and the subsidy allowed by the ECC is Rs517.
An official privy to the meeting told The Express Tribune that the provincial agriculture departments have expressed their satisfaction over the availability of urea for the on-going Kharif season. However, they noted that there are some price differences in certain areas and asked to evolve an effective mechanism for maintaining a uniform price.
It was further informed in the meeting that the provincial agriculture department of Punjab had established a taskforce, which is active to maintain a uniform urea price.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.
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