India imported 5.75 million tonnes of urea valued at $ 1.64 billion in the first eight months of this financial year to meet domestic demand as the cost of inward shipments eased.

The country had imported 5.41 million tonnes of urea in the same period a year earlier, according to Fertiliser Ministry data. Imports of the nitrogen-rich fertiliser were at 8.04 million tonnes in 2012-13, valued at $ 2.94 billion.

“There was decline of average $ 50 per tonne in the prices at which urea was imported this year,” Indian Potash Ltd Chairman P S Gahlaut said.

The government imported 1.46 million tonnes of urea from Oman India Fertiliser Company, a joint venture between Oman Oil Company, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd and Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd.

State trading enterprises Indian Potash, MMTC and State Trading Corporation of India procured the remaining 4.29 million tonnes of urea on behalf of the government.

The country produces about 22 million tonnes of urea against an annual domestic demand of 30 million tonnes. Urea imports are expected to rise in this financial year as farmers increased sowing due to the good monsoon, a Fertiliser Ministry official said.

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