Bangladesh enters world fertilizer market to sustain its supply chain

Pile of sack in warehouse. Background and texture of sack stack in warehouse.

Bangladesh’s government has decided to be actively engaged in the global fertilizer market, and is seeking to secure a continuous flow of essential agricultural inputs by beefing up the nation’s fertilizer reserves. The country has outlined plans to procure 40,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid through two separate tenders, segmented into four deliveries. This initiative is geared towards satisfying the country’s phosphoric acid needs by the mid-year mark. The state-run Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Industries, is set to orchestrate these imports via two international tenders.

The first tender, identified as Pur-3.3185/2023-2024, involves the importation of 10,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid in bulk. This consignment is expected to be delivered in a tanker on a Cost and Freight (CFR) basis to the TSP Complex Jetty at Chattogram Port, located in the southern part of Bangladesh. The financial transactions for this tender will be conducted under Cash Foreign Exchange, with the bid opening scheduled for April 30, 2024.

Following closely, the second tender, marked as Pur-3.3186/2023-2024, aims at importing 30,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid under similar conditions. The winning bidder is obligated to divide the delivery into three equal shipments of 10,000 tonnes each, adhering to a specific timeline that aligns with the letter of credit’s issuance within 30 days or as per the bidding document’s stipulations. The bid for this tender is set to open on May 6, 2024.

Complementing these efforts, the Dhaka government has also green-lighted proposals for the Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) to import 40,000 tonnes of DAP fertilizer from Saudi Arabia’s MA’ADEN for $23.24mn, with the price per tonne pegged at $581. Additionally, a deal was sealed for the importation of 30,000 tonnes of Muriate of Potash (MoP) fertilizer from Russia’s JSC Foreign Economic Corporation ‘Prodintorg’ at a cost of $8.692mn, bringing the unit price to $289.75.

The backdrop to these initiatives is the overarching strategy of the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), which supervises ten key medium-sized enterprises, including four urea fertilizer factories, a DAP fertilizer factory, and a TSP fertilizer factory. Annually, Bangladesh expends approximately $15bn on importing fertilizers and other food items, underlining the critical role of these measures in safeguarding the nation’s food security and agricultural productivity.

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