ISLAMABAD – The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) will complete 0.3 million ton urea import operation on Thursday while SABIC’s urea of 0.2 million tons is expected to arrive till the end of March this month.

An official who wished not be named told Online that “for importing 0.3 million ton urea, TCP opened two tender one of 50,000 ton and second was of 2, 50,000 ton which were opened on 10 and 19 January 2012 respectively,” adding that out of which 2, 50,000 ton urea has been imported while rest of 50,000 ton urea would be reached till Thursday.

Out of 0.2 million ton urea of Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) under the $100 million credit facility provided by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) around 0.1 million ton urea had reached.

“National Fertilizer Corporation has lifted 2, 50,000 ton urea so far out of over all 0.5 million ton,” official said, adding that urea is being imported by $417 per ton.

According to market sources severe natural gas deficiencies during the recent winter season had spoil local production of urea and the government was compelled to allow the import of 0.3 million ton additional urea through opened tender.

With the import of 0.3 million tons of urea trough open tender overall import of commodity for Rabi reason will reach around1.4 million tons besides SABIC 3,330000 ton urea. They alleged that unscrupulous elements were manipulating the price difference by re-packing the imported urea to show as domestic fertilizer and were pocketing the difference of Rs490 to Rs500 per bag. No one from the ministries concerned challenged it.

“Urea is being provided to the dealers at Rs1, 300 per bag against actual price of Rs3, 198, but growers are getting the commodity at Rs1, 800 to 1900,said sources, adding that the government had spent $784 million on urea imports and total subsidy on imported urea stands at Rs55 billion.