Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar revealed that Pakistan produced more than 200 thousand tonnes of urea. The increase in production comes owing to the modification in Priority Order of gas allocations.
Moreover, the minister noted that the high production levels saved around $200 million in import substitution.
“Last month, cabinet modified Priority Order of gas allocations by bringing up Fertiliser sector. As a result of this reprioritization, more than 200k tonnes of additional urea produced already (nov + dec only) saving $200 million by import substitution. Plants still running,” Hammad Azhar tweeted.
وفاقی کابینہ کے فرٹیلائزر سیکٹر کیلیے گیس کی فراہمی کو فوقیت میں ترامیم کے بعد 2لاکھ ٹن اضافی یوریا نومبر اور دسمبر کے مہینوں میں بنائی جا چکی ہے۔ جس سے 200ملین ڈالر کی درآمدات کے مد میں زرمبادلہ کی بچت ہو چکی ہے تمام یوریا کے پلانٹس اب بھی چل رہے ہیں۔
— Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) December 31, 2021
Earlier, the government placed the domestic fertilizer sector at par with the export sector in the gas priority list for three months, i.e., till March 31st 2022. According to the Ministry of Industries and Productions (MoI&P) the fertilizer sector should receive gas supply on a priority basis due to high international prices for fertilizer and also in consideration of food security. This gas supply during the current Rabi Season 2021-22 will ensure the production of urea domestically.
After detailed discussions, Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved the proposal of MoI&P to place the fertilizer sector, at par with the export sector.
Urea shortage in Pakistan?
Several areas in Pakistan reported facing urea shortage. Farmers accused the district administration of negligence as they had to wait in long lines to purchase urea from government depots. Many of the depots did not have any fertilizer at all. Farmers claimed that the markets did not have a sufficient amount of urea fertilizer available.
Important to note, influential hoarders reportedly stored millions of sacks in their warehouses. The hoarding caused a urea fertilizer crisis. Furthermore, they increased the rates to Rs2,300 per bag against government directives of selling the commodity at Rs1,768.
After DAP, now the crisis of urea fertilizer has intensified. The rate fixed by the government for urea fertilizer is Rs.1770 while urea is being sold in the market at Rs.2500 to 3000.#یوریا_بحران_کسان_پریشان #کھاد_مافیا_کو_لگام_دو pic.twitter.com/bs5i44JYFG
— Muhammad Aslam 🇵🇰 (@MAslam_k) December 30, 2021
However, the government assured that sufficient stocks of urea are available. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that the hoarding issue of urea will see an improvement.
While addressing a press conference, the minister said that this year Pakistan saw historic urea production. Furthermore, compared to the international market, the price of urea in Pakistan was much lower.
“There is also the issue of urea shortage in some areas,” said Fawad. “The country has enough urea stock and production, and the price of urea is also stable.”