On Monday, the fertilizer review committee was chaired by Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmud.
During the discussion, participants reviewed domestic fertilizer production and demand during the Kharif season.
The Chair was informed that domestic urea production is expected to be 3.2 MMT from April to September 2022, whereas urea off-take is expected to be 3.4 MMT over the same time period. The meeting was also warned that this year’s agronomic demand for fertilizers will climb by 2%. It was reported that urea sales increased by 17% last year.
A substantial portion of urea demand will be met domestically, according to the forum, but a request for urea import of 200,000 tones will be placed to fill the gap before demand surges in June during the Kharif sowing season. To combat urea smuggling across the border caused by stockpiling and profiteering, the body agreed to take severe steps in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, the FBR, and the Ministry of Interior to stop cross-border urea trafficking.
The Minister told the meeting that the government had made preparations to ensure a smooth, adequate, and timely provision of vital soil nutrients to farmers throughout the Kharif season, and that appropriate choices would be made. He stated that the government would make every effort to provide urea to farmers at reasonable prices as soon as possible.
The panel also examined the recent increase in urea pricing from Rs. 1768/bag to Rs. 1933/bag on average, while Engro boosted urea prices up to Rs. 2017/bag despite the government subsidizing gas (which accounts for around 80% of urea price). Prices were raised, according to the industry, due to the financial burden of storing inventory and the anticipated payment of government subsidies and refunds. The government has the option of initiating a forensic audit, according to the Ministry, which may be used if urea prices continue to rise throughout the Kharif season.
The Minister promised that the government will address payment concerns, and he asked the industry to promptly rationalize prices in order to enhance farmers’ agricultural production in the country.
Representatives from the fertilizer manufacturing industry, as well as officials from the Finance Division, Petroleum Division, Ministry of Food Security and Research, and officials from provincial agriculture departments, attended the meeting.