Pakistan’s fertilizer consumption showed mixed trends during 2023

Truck laden with bags white sacks in a warehouse godown factory stocks supply  camion charge de sacs image photo.

Fertilizer consumption in Pakistan exhibited minor fluctuations throughout the calendar year 2023. The nation’s agriculture sector utilized a mix of imported and domestically produced fertilizers, summing up to 6.642 million tonnes of urea, a marginal increase from the 6.616 million tonnes reported in the previous year. A report by AHL Research indicated a period of stability in demand, attributed possibly to delayed urea imports during the Rabi Season, the precarious state of farmers’ finances, and the surge in prices.

Engro Fertilizer witnessed a substantial growth of 20% in urea sales, reaching 2.327 million tonnes, benefiting from the lack of extended balancing, modernization, and replacement activities in its Sindh Province plant. By contrast, sales for both the Fauji Fertilizer Company & Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim and Fatima Fertilizer saw declines of 4% and 9% year-on-year, recording 2.842 million tonnes and 1.021 million tonnes, respectively. Fatima Fertilizer particularly suffered due to a plant shutdown in the initial quarter due to gas shortages. Additionally, urea imported and marketed by National Fertilizer Marketing Limited experienced a significant contraction by 23%, accounting for 217,000 tonnes.

However, the scenario was more optimistic for Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilizers. Total DAP sales surged by 36% year-on-year to 1.672 million tonnes. The combined sales of imported and locally produced DAP by Fauji Fertilizer and Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim reached 951,000 tonnes, marking a 30% increase. Engro Fertilizer’s sales of imported DAP rose by 6% to 279,000 tonnes. Notably, Fatima Fertilizer’s DAP sales skyrocketed by 296% to 107,000 tonnes, and the private sector’s sales increased by 67% to 335,000 tonnes. Market analysts suggest that a balanced application of fertilizers or anticipatory stocking by farmers and dealers, expecting future price hikes, may have contributed to the increased DAP sales during this period.

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