Fertiliser industry fears production halt

Pune, April 19 | Updated: Apr 20 2005, 05:30am hrs
Question mark over the availability of imported raw material such as phosphoric acid and potash is worrying the fertiliser industry, which fears it may affect continuity in production.

Supplies are just enough to last till May and the industry is hoping for an early conclusion of negotiations. Meanwhile, international prices for phosphoric acid have gone up from $400 to $500 per tonne. Prices of rock phosphate and sulphur too have gone up two to three times.

These issues were on the top of the agenda at the 45th annual meeting of The Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) - western region. The region has investments of Rs 5,500 crore in fertilisers with a turnover of Rs 7,500 crore accounting for 40% of the countrys fertiliser production.

No supplies are coming into the country and procurement has become a problem and there is a need to find a solution soon, said S Balan, outgoing chairman of FAI (western region). Agreement for import of potash was valid till November 2004 and was extended till April 2005. Similarly, for phosphoric acid too the agreement was only till March 2005.

Deepak Fertiliser and Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd MD SC Mehta said it was time Indian fertiliser industry got aligned with global market place. Growth will come only if there is a clear policy framework and decontrol is in place, he said.