India signs three-year import deal with Oman firm Omifco for urea

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India has signed a three-year urea import deal with Oman India Fertilizer Company (Omifco) to ship in 1 million tonnes of the crop nutrient a year, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Omifco is owned 50 percent by Oman Oil Co (OQ) and 25 percent each by Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (Iffco) and Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd (Kribhco).

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The first shipment under the deal arrived on Wednesday at Mundra port in western India, sources said.

India's previous 15-year urea import deal with Omifco lapsed in 2020.

A fertilizer ministry spokesperson confirmed that a three-year deal with Omifco had been signed.

India’s finance ministry provides subsidy for sales of urea at a government fixed low price of about 242 rupees, excluding local taxes and some other charges, per 45 kilogram bag to protect farmers.

Lower retail prices of urea has led a sharp surge in India’s fertilizer subsidies.

For the current fiscal year ending on March 31, India is likely to spend a 1.5 trillion rupees on fertilizer subsidies due to a rally in potash, phosphate, and urea prices in the world market.

India imports about a third of its urea requirements.

During April 2021-January 2022, the first 10 months of this fiscal year, India produced 21 million tonnes of urea and imports were at about 7.2 million tonnes, India’s Fertilizer Minister Mansukh Mandaviy told lawmakers on Tuesday.

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