India’s fertilizer imports affected by Red Sea crisis

Cargo ship docked in Aqaba port. Jordan

The escalating crisis in the Red Sea is affecting India’s fertilizer supplies, causing concern that there could be a shortfall ahead of the kharif season, the Hindu Businessline reported on Tuesday.

The publication wrote that Jordan and Israel, two of the country’s key suppliers, have as yet been unable to dispatch around 100,000 tonnes of fertilizer to India. It said that even Jordanian vessels are currently reluctant to transit through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.

According to Hindu Businessline, India imports about 600,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid, 3.7 million tonnes of rock phosphate, and 500,000 tonnes of muriate of potash from Jordan each year. The country also imports 500,000 tonnes of muriate of potash from Israel annually.

Since China placed curbs on fertilizer exports, India – which is one of the world’s biggest fertilizer buyers – has increasingly been sourcing product from Russia and the Middle East.

In some cases, these consignments are now being shipped around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid Houthi attacks – adding 15 days to the journey time and pushing up freight costs.

The Hindu Businessline said that the Indian fertilizer ministry is monitoring the situation closely. It suggested that officials may soon ask the government to increase fertilizer subsidies if the upward pricing pressure on fertilizer continues.

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