India had imported 40.14 lakh tonne of urea in the April-October period in the 2012-13 fiscal, a senior official of the fertiliser ministry said. The country had imported 80.44 lakh tonne of urea in 2012-13 at an average cost of $417 per tonne.
However, in the current fiscal, the average price at which urea has been imported so far stood at $340 per tonne, lower than the last years average price, the official added.
Urea is imported mainly by three canalising state agencies Indian Potash, Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India and State Trading Corporation.
Besides these three state trading enterprises, the country also has offtake agreement for import of urea with OMIFCO in Oman, which is a joint venture project of IFFCO, Kribhco and Oman Oil Company.
Urea demand is expected to remain high in the current rabi season, as the total area sown under rabi crops has so far increased by 7% to 314.24 lakh hectares, while area under wheat has risen by 25% to 127.47 lakh hectares.
Urea is provided to farmers at a fixed subsidised maximum retail price (MRP) of R5,360 per tonne. The difference between the cost of production and MRP of urea is provided as subsidy. The domestic production of urea stands at about 220 lakh tonne.