January 13, 2015 – Rizwan Bhatti – BR Report –
Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) successfully completed 0.46 million tons urea import to avert shortage in the domestic market. Sources told us on Monday that cumulatively the country has spent $168 million on urea import during the last two months ensuring timely supply in the domestic market to facilitate the farmers. Pakistan is facing some shortage due to gas curtailment to the local urea producing plants.
Last consignment of the commodity reached Pakistan in the previous week and with the arrival of this consignment TCP has completed urea import operation successfully within the given timeline. A ship namely “MV SINO” carrying 63,700 tons of urea arrived at Karachi Port Trust on January 8, 2014. The ship sailed from North China Port few days back and commodity was supplied by the M/s Dreymoor. Urea discharging has already been initiated and likely to complete in next few days.
In October last year, the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet approved 0.5 million tons urea import from international market through tendering process to fulfil the demand and supply gap in the local market. Accordingly, the ECC asked TCP for import of 0.5 million tons urea, later the federal government decided to reduce the quantity as Saudi Arab Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) committed a supply of over 80,000 tons urea in December on credit.
Following the ECC directives, the state-run grain trader conducted multiple tenders in November 2014 and finalised deals for import of 385,000 tons of urea to avert commodity shortage in the domestic market. The TCP conducted last urea import tender on November 13, 2014 for procurement of 70,000 tons urea and first shipment arrived on December 13, 2014. The country’s total urea production capacity is 6.5 million tons against the demand of 5.8 million tons annually. However, the domestic industry is unable to produce sufficient commodity due to gas shortage.
Sources said that some 376,296 tons urea has been imported through open tendering process at an average price of $318 per ton. While, some 84,000 tons urea supplied by SABIC at $335 per tons under the $100 million credit facility provided by the Saudi Fund for Development. They said that sufficient gas supply to the domestic urea producing plants is expected to resume in summer, while in case of further curtailment, the country would require to import more urea from international market for domestic consumption.