Centre promises to get fertilisers at cheaper rates

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday promised to intervene through diplomatic channels for the timely supply of phosphatic (P) and potassic (K) fertilisers from the international market at reasonable rates.

The assurance was given to the fertiliser industry in a recent meeting called on April 12 to review the availability of the key soil nutrients for the forthcoming Kharif 2021 season beginning June, according to an official statement.

In the meantime, companies were told not to hike the retail prices of P&K fertilisers such as di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), the most used fertiliser after urea in the country, and were directed to consult the government before changing any price.

In the meeting chaired by Fertiliser Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, the issue of increase in prices of P&K fertilisers were discussed in "length" and understood concerns of the companies with regard to rising global prices of raw materials.

The companies said they will sell at "old rates" the existing inventory lying at retail points, wholesale points, rake points and warehouses. However, they requested for the government's intervention through the diplomatic channel to convince the suppliers to keep the pipeline smooth with regard to supplies and prices at reasonable rates.

To this, Gowda and Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya said, "The necessary interventions through the diplomatic channels will be made so as to get the timely supply of raw material, finished fertiliser from the international sources."

The ministers promised the industry leaders that the government will take all necessary steps which will support their efforts to ensure timely availability and supply of various fertilisers in the present scenario.

The ministers further assured that all states and Union territories will be sensitised so that there is no black marketing, hoarding, tagging of fertilisers.

Sharing about the global price trends, the companies informed the government that in the last three-four months, international prices of raw material and finished products have witnessed a sharp increase.

The price rise is due to competing demand from major fertiliser consuming markets like the US, Brazil and China.

With the imposition of countervailing duty by the US on imports from Morocco and Russia, there is a realignment of the supply chain with the Middle East diverting the supplies to the US, they said.

China's active domestic season and reduced exports impacted supplies to the Indian subcontinent with global players seeking higher DAP prices prevailing in Europe and the US markets, they added.

Further, the companies along with the Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) assured that they will be "negotiating hard" with international suppliers as a team, and a united strategy will be adopted to get the best deal in terms of raw material and finished products of P&K fertilisers.

The government indicated the comfortable availability of urea across all the states for the Kharif 2021 season.

The companies, in the meeting, assured the government that fertilisers will be made available to the farmers timely, adequately and at affordable prices in the days to come, the statement added.

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