Fertilizer sales during first five months of the current fiscal has surged 10 per cent to 253.06 lakh tonnes (lt) due to higher demand in August following re-sowing of crop at many places. The fertilizer subsidy accordingly has reached ₹98,329.1 crore — 56 per cent of budget estimate for the entire fiscal.

“The sales were lower than the estimate in July and it probably caused a big rush to buy the fertilizers in August. Besides, there could be also advance purchase for rabi season as sales of DAP surged by nearly 50 per cent last month,” said an official source.

Total demand of fertilizers (except Single Super Phosphates) for the April-August period was earlier pegged at 263.05 lt and the actual sales were 4 per cent lower from it.

According to official data, urea sales were up by 6.5 per cent at 153.98 lt during April-August from the year-ago period, that of DAP by 19.7 per cent to 48.26 lt and complex by 13.3 per cent to 45.46 lt. But MOP purchases recorded a drop of 1 per cent at 5.36 lt.

Re-sowing operations

The India Meteorological Department has said the monsoon rain during this month was 14 per cent above normal until Wednesday, whereas the seasonal precipitation since June 1 was 6 per cent below normal. After the 36 per cent deficit train during August, the surplus this month may help the rabi sowing which will start in October.

Import has dropped by 1 per cent to 70.01 lt during April-August due to a slowdown in urea arrivals from China. However, there was high volume of DAP, MOP purchased. Urea import, completely under government control, declined 30.3 per cent to 17.49 lt and that of complex by 21.4 per cent to 10.83 lt. Import of DAP surged 25.7 per cent to 31.05 lt and that of MOP by 49.4 per cent to 10.64 lt.