Despite the scarcity of fertilisers in the country, eight vessels have departed Nigeria with 243,217 tonnes of bulk urea valued at N100.7 billion ($143.8 million) to Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and other destinations. Dangote, Notore and Indorama firms are the leading producers of the commodity in the country. It was gathered that the country is now self-sufficient in the production of urea and leading producer of the fertiliser brand in Africa as it produces six million metric tonnes of urea with over 70 blending plants.
However, farmers in the northern part of the country have expressed inability to access urea, Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous (NPK) due to exorbitant prices as only 1.8 million metric tonnes are consumed locally. It was gathered that a 50-kilogramme bag of fertiliser sells between N25,000 and N35,000 as against its previous price of N10,000. According to Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping data, Sea Venus has left Lagos Port with 30,000 tonnes at the week end, while Genco Magic laden with 30,000 tonnes has been positioned for its voyage this week. Also, Bulk Pride left Onne Port with 44,00 tonnes; Carme, 31, 217 tonnes and Desert Glory, 21,000 tonnes. NPA noted that between June and August 2022, three vessels departed the port with 87,000 tonnes; Alda with 30,000 tonnes also left in July, while Pegasus departed with 27,000 tonnes.
Data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the country’s export of urea increased from N16.77billion in first quarter, 2021 to N208.39 billion or 92 per cent urea in the first quarter of 2022. It noted that the country also exported N63.11billion worth of urea to Brazil in 2021. Currently, Nigeria has been ranked by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as the 12th largest urea fertiliser producer globally at a production capacity of 1.62 million tonnes and the 16th largest exporter with a volume of 722,479 tonnes. Data gathered from FAO explained that in 2019, India was the highest producer of urea with an annual output of 24.2 million tonnes or 33.77 per cent of the world’s urea production. Russia, 8.17 million tonnes; Indonesia,7.3 million tonnes; Pakistan,5.8 millions tonnes united States, 5.7 million tonnes. Russia was the largest exporter of urea with 6.98 million metric tonnes; Qatar, 5.6 million tonnes; Egypt, 4.6 million tonnes; China, 4.6 million tonnes; Saudi Arabia, 4.5 million tonnes; Oman, 3.3 million tonnes; Algeria, 2.8 million tonnes; Iran, 2.4 million tonnes; United Arab Emirates, 2.1 million tonnes and Indonesia 1.8 million tonnes. It was learnt that the global urea market is expected to reach $581 billion by 2027 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.69 per cent. Urea is a white crystalline organic chemical compound considered by agronomists as one of the most important nitrogenous fertilizers globally due to its high nitrogen content (about 46 per cent) and neutral potential hydrogen (pH) that is adaptable to almost all kinds of soils and a wide range of crops. Urea, which provide plants with nitrogen to promote green leafy growth, also aids the photosynthesis process and offers higher crop yield in lesser time. Also, it serves as a valuable component in the production of livestock feed supplements, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, dyes, disinfectants, textile finishes, amongst other uses.