India fertilizer sales slide in August
Published date: 01 September 2020
Total domestic sales of fertilizers in India fell on the year in August, marking the first monthly drop this year.
Sales of fertilizers — urea, DAP, NPKs, MOP and SSP — slipped to a total of 6.9mn t in August, from 7.6mn t a year earlier (see chart). Fertilizer sales in India had outstripped 2019 levels by 42pc in January-July, before dropping last month.
Phosphates-based products remain the key drivers behind sales in India, with DAP and NPK sales at 923,000t and 1.3mn t in August, eclipsing last year's levels. But sales of urea, the most widely consumed fertilizer in India, were 4.01mn t last month, down from 4.67mn t a year earlier.
Domestic fertilizer sales in India had surged earlier this year, propelled by plentiful rainfall and increased crop acreage. Crop sowing this kharif season, running from April-September, was at 102mn hectares by mid-August, up by 8.5pc on a year earlier. But there were signs last month that the accelerated rise in Indian fertilizer sales had begun to subside. The drop in August highlights the solid buying earlier in the year, with agricultural fundamentals still strong.
Rainfall is a key indicator of farmer demand, filling reservoirs and ensuring water for crops. Average rainfall this current monsoon season, running from June-September, is 784.8mm, up by 9pc on the long-term average, latest government data show.
By Harry Minihan