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Monday, June 30, 2008
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Move to import non-urea fertiliser at state level

The government is going to import non-urea fertiliser under state-to-state arrangements in the wake of 42 to 290 percent price hike of fertilisers in international market during the last one year.

The Advisory Committee on Economic Affairs in its meeting yesterday also exempted the import of non-urea fertiliser from Ukraine, Belarus and Morocco from Public Procurement Regulations (PPR).

The meeting also decided to relax PPR allowing Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) to speed up the import process of urea.

Usually, the government itself imports urea from international market while non-urea fertilisers like Murate of Potash (MOP), Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) and Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) are imported mostly by the private traders.

“The prices of the non-urea fertilisers are very high. This means, the amount of the government subsidy on them will also increase. Therefore, the government is trying to import these fertilisers at the lowest possible price under state arrangements,” Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said.

Talking to reporters after the meeting at the ministry, he said, “We also want to make sure that the fertiliser is supplied to the farmers on time.”

During his recent visit to Italy, Agriculture Adviser Dr CS Karim discussed import of fertiliser with Morocco, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, the finance adviser added.

According to an industries ministry proposal placed before yesterday's meeting, the price of TSP is $1030 to $1050 per metric tonne (MT) in June, whereas it was only $350 to $385 per MT last July.

Per MT DAP price now stands between $1150 to $1190, which was $815 to $835 last July.

Meanwhile, each MT MOP price is now $500 to $900, which was $190 to $230 last year, the proposal noted.

For 2008-09 fiscal year, the government has set the demand of TSP at 5 lakh metric tonnes, DAP at 2 lakh metric tonnes and MOP at 4 lakh metric tonnes, according to agriculture ministry.

Of the 5 lakh metric tonnes TSP, only 50,000 metric tonnes are produced locally by Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) and of 2 lakh metric tonnes of DAP, BCIC can produce only 1 lakh metric tonne.

The entire demand of MOP is met through importing from the international markets.

The government would also discuss importing non-urea fertiliser with Russia and Tunisia, sources said.

Belarus has already committed to export 2.55 lakh MT MOP and it may increase the amount, they added.

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