In the midst of Assembly elections in West Bengal and ongoing protests towards the Centre’s farm legal guidelines, the nation’s largest fertiliser vendor – Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) – has steeply raised costs of vitamins.
A 50-kg bag of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), essentially the most extensively consumed fertiliser in India after urea, will value farmers Rs 1,900, greater than 58 per cent greater than the present price of Rs 1,200/bag.
IFFCO has additionally considerably elevated the utmost retail costs of different widespread complicated fertilisers with totally different NPKS (nitrogen, phosphorus, potash and sulphur) proportions. These embody 10:26:26 (from Rs 1,175 to Rs 1,775/bag), 12:32:16 (from Rs 1,185 to 1,800/bag) and 20:20:0:13 (from Rs 925 to 1,350/bag). The new costs are efficient from April 1.
An IFFCO spokesperson mentioned the costs of non-urea fertilisers are already decontrolled. The cooperative’s motion, which follows different fertiliser firms revising charges upwards since mid-March, has “no linkage to any political party or government”.
The above hikes are primarily on account of worldwide costs, which have registered a pointy surge within the final 5-6 months. The landed costs of imported DAP in India is now at about $540 per tonne, as towards lower than $400 in October. Similarly, the costs of intermediates comparable to ammonia and sulphur have additionally gone up from round $280 and $85 per tonne to $500 and $220 per tonne, respectively. Even urea and muriate of potash costs have hardened from $275 and $230 to $380 and $280 per tonne, respectively, over this era.
The greater nutrient costs, in flip, are a mirrored image of a renewed bull cycle in farm commodities. On Thursday, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization launched its Food Price Index (FPI) quantity, which, at 118.5 factors for March, was the best for the reason that 119.3 factors of June 2014. Interestingly, the FPI (base yr: 2014-16=100) had touched a four-year-low of 91 factors in May 2020 on the peak of world pandemic-induced lockdown, earlier than rebounding to an 81-month-high now.
The spike in fertiliser costs – on high of petrol, diesel and LPG – could have each political and financial implications. Much of the polling for West Bengal elections – the place the BJP is looking for to dislodge the Trinamool Congress because the ruling occasion within the state – is but to be accomplished. While the crowds at Delhi’s Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border have thinned down, the agitation towards the Narendra Modi authorities’s farm legal guidelines is anticipated to assemble steam as soon as the harvesting of wheat and planting of sugarcane is over.
Higher fertiliser costs may additionally complicate the Reserve Bank of India’s activity of preserve rates of interest low. The Modi authorities might be underneath stress to extend minimal assist costs of crops to be planted within the ensuing kharif season from June to compensate farmers for the elevated value of gas and vitamins. All eyes might be on the monsoon: If the rains prove good like final yr, that ought to nonetheless put a lid on meals costs.