We see consumption of phosphatic (P) and potassium (K) fertilisers in this Kharif season declining by 28% from over last year due to late arrival of monsoon, a senior fertiliser ministry official told PTI.
As much as 10 million tonne of P&K fertilisers such as di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and potash were used in the Kharif (summer) season last year, the official said.
Sowing of Kharif crop such as paddy, pulses and oilseeds, which normally begins from April, has not gained momentum yet due to late arrival of South-West monsoon, crucial for agriculture as only 40% of the cultivable area is under irrigation.
Monsoon rains arrived four days late in Kerala on June 5 and are yet to pick up. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast good rains in July and August.
The reports from the states show that there has not been much demand for P&K fertilisers so far as sowing of crops like paddy has delayed due to late arrival of rains this time, the official said.
To ensure smooth supply of soil nutrients, the centre has, however, propositioned 6.5 million tonne of P&K fertilisers in various states, he said, adding that another 3-4 million tonne of fertilisers will be moved into the market in July and August, when demand peaks.
After the decontrol of non-urea fertilisers, DAP and MoP prices have more than doubled to R20,000 a tonne and R12,000 a tonne, respectively.
India imports almost half of its requirement of DAP and almost entire requirement of MoP.