Following the disruption of shipments caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, India is increasing fertiliser imports from countries such as Canada and Israel to ensure adequate supplies for the upcoming summer sowing season. India is a major importer of fertilisers for its massive agriculture sector, which employs roughly 60% of the workforce and accounts for 15% of the country’s $2.7 trillion economy.
“We have made advance preparations for the Kharif (summer-sown crop) season this year. We require approximately 30 million tonnes of fertilizer, and preparations are being made “Mansukh Mandaviya, the minister of fertilizer, stated without further elaboration.
According to him, India will have sufficient opening stock, accounting for roughly a quarter of the total amount of fertilizer required for the summer season. With the arrival of the monsoon rains in June, Indian farmers typically begin planting crops such as rice, cotton, and soybean.
For its entire annual consumption of 4 million to 5 million tonnes of potash, India relies on imports, with a third of this coming from Belarus and Russia. Belarus, which is landlocked, exports through ports in Russia and Lithuania.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, shipping routes have been closed, and western sanctions on Moscow, which has described its actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation,” have made trading with Russian and Belarusian companies difficult.
According to multiple sources, it will purchase 1.2 million tonnes of Potash from Canada, 600,000 tonnes from Israel, and 300,000 tonnes from Jordan in 2022 to partially replace supply from Russia and Belarus.
According to a senior industry official who declined to be identified, IPL is attempting to ensure that “a substantial amount of shipments” arrive before June to avoid a shortage during the sowing season.
During Mandaviya’s visit to Moscow later this month, India was on the verge of signing a three-year fertilizer import agreement with Russia. The visit was cancelled due to the Ukraine invasion, which began on February 24.
According to one of the sources, India may try to sign the agreement again “when the situation improves.” Historically, India has used the prices agreed upon in deals with Belarus and Russia as the benchmark for supplies from other countries. According to the sources, Canada has emerged as a price setter for 2022.
In 2022, IPL will purchase potash from companies in Canada and Israel for $590 per tonne delivered with six months’ credit. IPL refused to comment. India also relies on Russia and Belarus for complex fertilizers that contain multiple crop nutrients. According to the sources, Indian companies are increasing supplies from Saudi Arabia and Morocco to help compensate for any lost nitrogen, phosphate, and potash supplies.