India had imported 7.71 lakh tonnes of urea in April-May 2016 compared to 10.03 lakh tonnes in the same period last year. This is a decline of 23%.
Last financial year 2015-16,urea imports were at 84.74 lakh tonnes, a drop of 3.41%, due to higher domestic production. Official data records show India’s urea imports stood at 87.49 lakh tonnes in the fiscal of 2014-15. The production of urea reached its highest ever capacity of 245 lakh tonnes in 2015-16, a surge of 20 lakh tonnes from the previous output in 2014-15.
Last year, neem coated urea was made compulsory by the government, as it works as an insecticide and is beneficial to the soil. The coating of urea with neem also helps in diverting the fertiliser to be used for non-agricultural purposes in the industry.
The annual demand of urea in India is estimated to be 300 lakh tonnes, while output was stagnant at about 220 lakh tonnes in the last few years. The country had to import urea to meet the rest of the demand.
In India, urea is a controlled fertiliser and is marketed at a fixed price of Rs.5,360 a tonne. The subsidy is based on the difference between the selling price and cost of production, which is then given to the producers.
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