KARACHI - The urea sales in the first half of 2008 from January to -June stood at 2,694k tons, up by 33 per cent as compared to 2.0mn tons in the corresponding period last year. DAP sales, on the other hand, reflecting a fall of 70 per cent as they declined to 141k tons in first half 2008 against 464k tons in the same period a year earlier, the fertilizer data released by the National Fertilizer Development Centre (NFDC) said. Urea fertilizer sales remained robust during the six months of 2008 on the back of increased farmer substitution of DAP with urea, amid skyrocketing DAP prices on an average of 4bags of urea were available for the price of 1bag of DAP in 1HCY08 as compared to 1.9 bags of urea to a bag of DAP in 1HCY07 and possible stocking up of urea by dealers in order to benefit from inventory gains. Weighted average Sona urea and Sona DAP prices in the 1HCY08 stood at Rs625 per bag, up 16 per cent Year on Year basis (YoY) and Rs 2,515 per bag, jumped by 146 per cent YoY respectively. During the three months of Kharif season from April to June 2008, Urea offtake stood at 1.2mn tons, up by 11 per cent YoY. Alone in the month of Jun 2008, urea offtake stood at 427k tons as against 599k tons in Jun 2007, depicting a decline of 29 per cent YoY. While Urea sales in June-08 dropped by 10 per cent on a Month on Month basis. The drop was mainly attributable to the record high sales in the first five months of CY08, which relatively mellowed urea demand in June-08. DAP offtake in June-08 declined by 97 per cent YoY to an 11-year low at 5k tons. DAP sales declined by 91 per cent on MoM basis as expectations of a hike in DAP subsidy in budget FY09 might have inhibited DAP sales. The Nitrogen to Phosphate (NT) ratio ideal of 2-2.5x has increased to 11.6x in Kharif season of 08 from April to June as compared to 3.5x in Kharif season of 07 ), implying a highly disproportionate use of urea (N) fertilizers. Price in June-08 for Sona urea and Sona DAP were observed at Rs677/bag, up 5 per cent MoM and Rs 3,071 per bag, increased by 3 per cent MoM, respectively. Urea market shares in 1HCY08 for Fuji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited FFBL and ENGRO increased by a YoY 539bps and 170bps respectively to 13 per cent and 21 per cent, whereas Fauji Fertilizer Companies FFC's share declined by 457bps YoY to 46 per cent. DAP market shares in 1HCY08 for FFC, ENGRO, and FFBL stood at 16 per cent up 15.97 pps YoY, 18 per cent, declined by 147bps YoY and 26 per cent plunged by 340bps YoY, respectively.