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Indian Fertilizer Industry
Description: The Indian fertilizer industry with a capacity of 121 lakh MT of nitrogen and 56 lakh MT of
phosphatic nutrient, is one of the largest in the world and has over the years, played a significant
role in the development of agriculture in the country. Fertilizer consumption in India is among the
highest in the world, though we rank low in comparison to most of developing and some of
developed countries in terms of intensity of consumption.
Fertilizer consumption in India has been stagnant in the last few years. But, with increased focus of
the government towards agricultural growth, consumption levels are expected to pick up.
Successful implementation of government programmes like the Bharath Nirman programme etc.
which aims at an additional 10 million hectares under irrigation could help increase fertilizer
consumption in the long run.
The main issues confronting the fertilizer industry at present are with regard to feedstock and the
uncertain policy environment.
The industry is dependent to a large extent on gas for Urea production and Phosphoric acid for
production of DAP and other phosphatic fertilizers. With limited reserves of gas in the country and
the power sector also vying for an increased share, the fertilizer industry is faced with acute
shortages. Fertilizer units and gas companies have not been able to reach an agreement over the
pricing of gas and very few long term gas supply agreements have been signed. With the
government policy favouring conversion to gas based units, the demand for gas is only expected to
go up. We had in our initial report on the sector, mentioned three strategies for growth of the
domestic fertilizer sector, one of them being setting up of JVs abroad to tie up for feedstock. The
recent initiative by some players in the industry to set up Joint ventures in gas surplus countries
with buy back arrangements is thus a step in the right direction and reaffirms our stated view on
strategies for growth in the sector. Similarly, on the phosphatic fertilizers front, the country has
limited reserves of phosphoric acid and companies have set up joint ventures abroad to tie up for
their phosphoric acid requirements.
On the policy front, the fertilizer industry had for long been protected under the Retention pricing
However with recent focus on containing subsidies and also encouraging efficiency in the sector,
the government has envisaged total decontrol of the sector. The government introduced the new
pricing scheme in 2003 as a first step towards total decontrol but the uncertainty and delay over
the exact policy parameters have not augured well for the industry.
The uncertain policy environment has also not encouraged any major domestic capacity additions.
Most of the capacity additions planned are in the nature of expansion or revamp of existing units.
Absence of major capacity additions and issues relating to feedstock could widen the demand-
The financial year 2006-07 began with practically no clarity on the policy parameters for both
Nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers. The policy parameters for third stage of the New pricing
scheme for Urea which was to be implemented from the beginning of the current financial year are
yet to be announced and the implementation of the Prof. Abhijith Sen committee report on
Phosphatic fertilizers is also pending.
While rising fertilizers subsidies is a matter of concern, delay in decisions on the mechanism to
tackle the same can worsen the situation as domestic capacity utilization might drop and force the
country to resort to imports. Excessive dependence on imports is not a desirable proposition from
both the economic and strategic point of view and hence there is an urgent need of clarity on the
policy parameters for the sector.
We feel that a comprehensive long term policy addressing the concerns of both the farming
community and the domestic industry has become the need of the hour. A long term policy would
help create an environment of stability in the industry and in turn help in the overall development
Contents: I. Introduction
1.2 Rationale for usage
1.3 Type of fertilizers.
II. Key statistics
2.1 Capacity – Sectorwise and Regionwise.
2.2 Demand – Supply Dynamics, Marketing and Distribution
2.3 Pricing – New Pricing Scheme
V. International Scenario
VI. Sector Outlook
VII. Company Scan – Top 5 companies
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