Wednesday, 20 June 2012 10:05
KARACHI: Two consignments of nearly 80,000 tons of imported urea, procured by state run grain trader TCP, have arrived at Gwadar and FAP Port to avoid any shortage during Kharif-2012.
In the April this year, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet had directed the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to import 300,000 tons of urea for domestic consumption as a shortage was being expected ahead of the disturbance in gas supply to local urea producers.
Following the directives of ECC, TCP is managing to import urea through Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) against $100 million credit grant of Saudi Fund for Development as well as purchases through international tenders.
On April 18 this year, TCP floated first urea import tender for the import of 300,000 of urea, which was opened on May 21. In response to TCP's international tender, some 14 international pre-qualified bidders participated. However, the tender was finally awarded to lowest bidder namely M/s Gavilon Fertilizer LLC of the US for a quantity of 100,000 tons of urea at $522.86 per ton (Cost and Freight).
According to the supplier's schedule, the first ship namely 'Al-Yasat II', carrying some 50,358 tons of urea reached Gwadar port. The consignment, it is learnt, is being discharged. The vessel carrying the urea shipment had sailed from Bahrain's Sitra Port' a few days ago. Another consignment of 30,000 tons of urea through vessel Star Masaya arrived on June 16, at FAP Terminal in Karachi. It is being offloaded from this ship.
The bidder has assured to ship complete quantity by the third week of June this year. Another consignment of 29,643 tons of imported urea is scheduled to reach Pakistan by June 22.
Against ECC's directives to import 300,000 tons of urea for domestic consumption, TCP awarded tender only for quantity of 100,000 tons to Gavilon Fertilizer after other bidders refused to match the lowest price. Therefore, the state-run grain trader issued another tender to import the remaining quantity of 200,000 tons of urea. The second tender is scheduled to be opened on June 25.
In addition to import through tenders, Sabic also started urea supply and a shipment of 30,000 tons of urea that is likely to reach Pakistan on June 29. With the arrival of this consignment, import under $100 million credit grant of Saudi Fund for Development will be completed. During the current calendar year, TCP imported about 520,000 tons of urea from international sources. This included the import of some 191,000 tons against Sabic's credit facility and about 329,000 tons via international tenders. The arrival of 60,000 tons of urea is expected in the next two weeks.
The distribution, transportation and bagging of urea is being handled by M/s National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML).
With timely arrival of the first consignment, it seems that TCP will complete the urea import operation within the specified time, avoiding any shortage in Kharif 2012.