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Fertiliser demand to rise 700,000 tonnes this year

Update: March, 06/2013 - 00:00

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development estimates that the country's total demand for fertiliser will reach 10.3 million tonnes, up 700,000 tonnes compared with last year's figure.

That amount is needed for 12 million hectares of cultivation area nationwide.

At a national seminar on the use of fertiliser in Viet Nam, jointly held by the Viet Nam Agriculture Science Institute and Viet Nam Fertiliser Association in Can Tho City yesterday, ministry officials said the country would need 2 million tonnes of urea fertiliser.

The remaining amount includes other kinds of fertiliser including kali, DAP (di-ammonium phosphate), SA (sulphate of ammonium), NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium).

The country is expected to import 2.47 million tonnes, mainly SA, kali and DAP.

For DAP fertiliser alone, Viet Nam will import about 570,000 tonnes mainly from China, which has already adjusted export duties to a level that is lower than other countries.

This year, Viet Nam will also continue to import kali fertiliser. But that is expected to fall after the Viet Nam Chemical Group's project to exploit and process Kali salt in Laos is put into operation in the next two years.

According to the General Statistics Office, between 2009 and 2012, the country's total fertiliser production rose by 8.9 per cent or 1 million tonnes.

Fertiliser production in 2012 alone was 5.08 million tonnes, up by 8 per cent compared with the figure in 2011.

Thanks to increased fertiliser production capacity, imports of fertiliser have fallen significantly.

In particular, in 2012 Viet Nam imported about 3.74 million tonnes, worth a total of US$1.6 billion, registering year-on-year decreases of 11.3 per cent and 9.4 per cent, respectively.

For instance, fertiliser imported from China fell from 2,172 million tonnes in 2012 to only 1,916 million tonnes in 2013 because domestic enterprises' production capacity increased.

Also, thanks to improved production capital, Viet Nam's fertiliser exports in 2012 reached 1.23 million tonnes, up by 11 per cent over 2011, which earned a total of $527 million, according to the Department of General Customs.

The Viet Nam Market Analysis and Forecast Joint-Stock Company, Agro-Monitor, said that Vietnamese fertiliser products have been exported to 40 countries. Cambodia is the biggest export earner, with $192 million in 2012.

This year, Cambodia is expected to continue to be the biggest importer of Vietnamese fertiliser, and the Philippines and Malaysia will rank second and third.

Other markets, including Laos, Japan, Ghana, Thailand and Myanmar, will be potential markets for Vietnamese fertiliser products in the coming years, according to the company.

Delegates at the workshop said that in addition to achievements in fertiliser production, the quality of fertiliser products, the abuse of fertiliser and the use of fake fertiliser had badly affected domestic agricultural production.

They asked that agencies and branches enhance scientific studies as well as agricultural-extension work to improve the effectiveness of fertiliser products and reduce farmers' costs, while protecting the environment and people's health.

The delegates also called for strict punishments on cases involved in production and trading of low-quality fertiliser products. — VNS

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