Agri Business

Ukraine-Russia conflict: Fertiliser makers weigh options to source potash from other countries next fiscal

V. Sajeev Kumar | Updated on: Feb 28, 2022
India’s potash requirement is totally met by imports from Belarus and Russia

India’s potash requirement is totally met by imports from Belarus and Russia | Photo Credit: SOMASHEKARA GRN

India requires 30 lakh tonnes; imports meet all domestic demand

Indian fertiliser companies are exploring ways to source Muriate of Potash (MoP) and di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) from other countries in view of the likely impediments in getting future shipments from Russia and Belarus in view of the conflict between Moscow and Ukraine.

“We are trying to get MoP and DAP from Jordan, Morocco and Canada to meet the fertilizer requirement for the next financial year. Currently, there is enough stock with companies till March and the next requirement is for the period between April to September”, Kishor Rungta, Chairman, Fertilizer Association of India (Southern Region) told BusinessLine.

With a requirement of 30 lakh tonnes, he said India’s potash requirement is totally met by imports from Belarus and Russia. The country is also sourcing a small quantity from Gulf countries.

However, fertilizer manufacturing firms anticipate hurdles in getting potash on time due to sanctions. Moreover, there could be a spike in import price for MoP, which is currently ruling at $600 per tonne following the shift in procurement from other countries, he said.

Referring to phosphatic fertilisers, he said currently there is no shortage, as companies are procuring mainly from Morocco and other countries. But there could be an increase in the input price for phosphatic fertilizers such as ammonia and phosphoric acid which may impact domestic production of phosphatic fertilisers.

Likewise, sanctions on Russia may hit NPK fertilizer exports to India as well as the availability of natural gas, LNG and ammonia, leading to lower availability of fertilizer inputs and higher costs. The shortage of natural gas is also expected to impact the cost of production, he said.

Rungta, who is also the Chairman and Managing Director of FACT, said a clear picture of sanctions would evolve over the next few days. But there could be a price increase and pressure on fertiliser availability not only in India but in the whole world, hitting the supply of fertilizer and other raw material inputs. He said the Indian government is taking all precautions to ensure an adequate availability of fertiliser.

Asked about the requirement of MoP for FACT, Rungta said “it is very minimal compared to other fertilizer manufacturing firms. FACT is right now focusing on setting up an NPK plant at a cost of ₹700 crore and the project work is in progress. Also, we are stabilising our caprolactam plant to make the country self-reliant in this product.”

Published on February 28, 2022
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