No increase in P&K fertiliser prices for now; govt keeping close eye on global rates: Sadananda Gowda

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April 13, 2021 5:09 PM

Fertiliser Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday said there will not be any increase in retail prices of phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertiliser for the time being and the government is keeping a close watch on global prices.

India’s fertiliser consumption in FY20 was about 61 million tonne — of which 55% was urea — and is estimated to have increased by 5 million tonne in FY21. Since non-urea (MoP, DAP, complex) varieties cost higher, many farmers prefer to use more urea than actually needed.Already urea prices have come down by USD 40 to USD 340 from USD 380 per tonne, he said.

Fertiliser Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday said there will not be any increase in retail prices of phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertiliser for the time being and the government is keeping a close watch on global prices. Briefing the media, Gowda said the issue was discussed in a meeting with domestic fertiliser companies on Monday and they have agreed to sell the stock at old rates. “Practically, there won’t be any increase in present rates of P&K fertilisers. I had a discussion with top manufacturers yesterday. We asked them not to increase the prices at this stage and they agreed,” Gowda told reporters.

Already, some companies, including IFFCO and IPL Ltd, have written to state governments to ensure that fertilisers are sold at old rates, he said. Stating that there is sufficient stock of fertilisers for nearly two to two-and-half months, the minister said once this stock gets exhausted, a call will be taken on further action.

“We are having a close watch on the international market, we will look into the matter. There is no problem for the next two months. We have got sufficient stocks at present. After one month, we will review the situation,” he said. The minister said the global prices of fertilisers are rising due to competing demand from major consuming markets.
“However, we are apprehending that international prices will come down soon because the cropping season in the US and Brazil is over, while it will end in the EU this month. Ultimately, India and China are two markets left for sellers,” he noted.

Already urea prices have come down by USD 40 to USD 340 from USD 380 per tonne, he said. Asked if partial lockdown in some states will affect movement of fertilisers, the minister said, “When there was full lockdown last year, we supplied about 17 per cent more urea and 40 per cent higher P&K fertilisers. We have got all the mechanisms.” Later, the minister tweeted that for the kharif sowing season that will start from June onwards, the government is making efforts to ensure timely availability of fertiliser.

“Government (is) taking all necessary measures. Like previous years, fertiliser availability to remain comfortable during the kharif season. We are keeping a close watch on the international market,” he tweeted. He said strict action will be taken against those involved in malpractices such as overcharging, black marketing and hoarding of fertilisers.

It may be noted that fertiliser companies had raised the retail prices of P&K fertilisers like Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) in line with the global market effective from April 1. But they were directed not to increase for the time being. Unlike urea, P&K fertilisers are decontrolled products. The prices are fixed by the manufacturers and the government gives them fixed subsidies each year.

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