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India to import 47,000 tonnes of urea from the US; more likely in future

The US is not a major urea exporting country, and govt data shows that Indian imports from Washington in 2019-20 were only 1.47 tonnes

Urea | India imports | United States

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

In a first, India to import nearly 47,000 tonnes of urea from the US
In FY22, India imported 10.16 MT of urea, mainly from China, Oman, UAE, Egypt and Ukraine.

In a first, India will import nearly 47,000 tonnes of from the US as tech giant Samsung will load the consignment at the New Orleans port for shipment to New Mangalore, a report said.

The cargo, expected to be loaded later this week, is being supplied at a rate of $716.5 per tonne, cost plus freight (CFR), according to a report in The Indian Express. While the freight costs from the US are estimated at about $65, with an additional $10-15 for loading from barges, the overall free-on-board or FOB origin price will be somewhere between $635-640 per tonne, the report said.

The US is not a major exporting country, and data from the commerce ministry shows that Indian imports from Washington in 2019-20 were only 1.47 tonnes. In 2020-21 and 2021-22, the US exports to India were at 2.19 tonnes and 43.71 tonnes, respectively.

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The IE report said that the US is exporting 47,000 tonnes of against an import tender floated on May 11 by state-owned Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers Ltd.

The company's tender has led to 1.65 million tonnes (mt) of urea imports from different suppliers at $716-721 per tonne CFR.

"More vessels are likely from the US in the months ahead. It will help in diversifying our import sources and sending a message to other suppliers," The Indian Express quoted an industry expert as saying.

In FY22, India imported 10.16 MT of urea, mainly from China, Oman, UAE, Egypt and Ukraine, priced at $6.52 billion.

The FOB rates of granular urea (US Gulf futures) are at $500 per tonne for June and $455 for July delivery, while for the Middle East, the corresponding futures FOB quotes of $610 and $595 per tonne, the IE said in its report.

"The freight costs are lower, at $15-20 per tonne, from the Middle East. Voyage time is also only 5-10 days, compared to 35 days or more from the US. But these can to some extent be offset by the steep FOB discounts to the international prices," the expert told The Indian Express.

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First Published: Fri, June 17 2022. 15:01 IST