State-owned Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) will import 50,000 tonnes of bulk urea while its packing will be done in the country to save time and expenditure, officials said.
They said the decision was taken in the co-ordination committee's meeting on fertilizer recently.
The government gave its nod to import 50,000 tonnes of bulk urea, Industries Minister Dilip Barua told the FE Tuesday.
Open tender has already been floated and BCIC will import the fertilizer by the middle of January next year, he said adding it will ensure the soil nutrient security.
The bulk import of the soil nutrient is quicker and there is no question regarding bagging and its quality, Chairman of BCIC Md Golam Rabbani said.
It will also save time and money though there are some hazards of packing, he added.
The bulk import will save the bagging cost by at least $10-11 per tone, he said adding that it will reduce the other costs also. The suppliers also prefer the bulk system.
Terming the decision as a good one, BCIC officials said the local packaging sector will get a big boost.
Industry insiders of packaging sector said, about 30 million pieces of bags will be required for the total urea import while the number will be doubled for other fertilizers.
The BCIC chairman said the decision of bulk urea import has been taken to ensure smooth supply of urea during the peak Boro season when demand for the soil nutrient increases significantly.
The December-March period is the peak season while demand for urea is the highest from January to February, he said. More than 50 per cent of urea is used during December to March period, he pointed out.
Explaining the requirement of urea, he said the demand is 2,65,000 tonnes in December, 4,12,000 tonnes in January, 4,39,000 tonnes in February and 2,07,000 in March.
Rabbani said there would be no fertilizer crisis during the Boro season as BCIC has enough stock to meet the demand.
BCIC will import a total of 1.5 million tonnes of urea this fiscal. It will import 0.8 million tonnes through state-to-state arrangement while 0.2 million from the United Arab Emirates, 0.2 million tonnes from Saudi Arabia and 0.4 million tonnes from Qatar.
It will also buy another 0.4 million tonnes of urea from Kafco while the rest will be imported through open tender.
The demand for urea for 2012-13 fiscal is 2.5 million tonnes while 1.0 million tonnes will be met locally.