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India could further expand cheaper fertiliser imports from Russia

India's imports of fertiliser from Russia increase

India could further increase its fertiliser imports from Russia. Sources said that if the price is favourable, New Delhi will look at reducing imports from other countries while relying more on Russia. Besides Russia, India has been also importing fertiliser from China, UAE and Saudi Arabia among others countries. The agriculture sector in India is the primary source of livelihood for more than 55 per cent of the country’s population.  

According to a report published by Reuters, Russia for the first time became the biggest fertiliser supplier to India during the first half of the current financial year by offering discounts over prevailing global prices, cornering more than a fifth of the market share.

A senior government official has told Reuters that India’s fertilizer imports from Russia surged 371 per cent to a record 2.15 million tonnes in the first six months of the year started on April 1.

Last month Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that despite surging global prices of fertilizers, India managed to protect its farmers.

“It is not just the elevated prices of fertilizer and energy, but the availability of these commodities too are challenges,” Sitharaman said while speaking at the Brookings Institute.

With sanctions on Russia, Europe is not just staring at a fuel crisis but concerns over food shortage is brewing amid shortage of fertiliser.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow is ready to increase fertiliser exports. But he has underlined the need to ease the stringent sanctions for Moscow to be able to increase outbound shipment of fertiliser.

The United Nations with the US and the European Union have already taken a host of measures to boost exports of Russian fertilizers.

“We must do more to ease the global fertilizer crunch. Fertilizer prices are up to three times higher than before the pandemic, and we are working to end all obstacles to the free flow of Russian food and fertilizers to global markets,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier said at the G20 summit.

Also read: How India and Russia are benefitting from Western sanctions against Moscow