Fer­tiliser in­dus­try re­quires $120m for raw ma­te­ri­als

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Travel/Business News - Michael Tome Busi­ness Re­porter

ZIM­BABWE’s fer­tiliser in­dus­try re­quires over $120 mil­lion in for­eign cur­rency for the im­por­ta­tion of raw ma­te­ri­als used in the man­u­fac­ture of com­pound and top dress­ing fer­tilis­ers for the forth­com­ing sum­mer crop­ping sea­son.

Es­ti­mated fer­tiliser ef­fec­tive demand for 2017 /18 sea­son is 160 000 tonnes of am­mo­nium ni­trate and 240 000 tonnes com­pound fer­tilis­ers which comes to a to­tal of 400 000 tonnes.

Chemplex Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ta­puwa Mashin­gaidze said in­dus­try has ca­pac­ity to man­u­fac­ture com­pound fer­til­iz­ers but re­quires Nostro sup­port to im­port es­sen­tial raw ma­te­ri­als for the man­u­fac­ture of the stim­u­lant.

“There is huge ca­pac­ity to man­u­fac­ture fer­til­izer lo­cally. What we are say­ing is that in­stead of im­port­ing fin­ished fer­til­iz­ers we buy raw ma­te­ri­als to man­u­fac­ture lo­cally,” said Mr Mashin­gaidze.

“We es­ti­mate that for all the 400 000 tonnes of fer­tilis­ers re­quired for this year we need about $122 mil­lion worth of for­eign ex­change (to im­port raw ma­te­ri­als).”

“If we are to im­port a fin­ished prod­uct (fer­tiliser) we would re­quire more than two or three times that ($122 mil­lion) in for­eign ex­change.

In ad­di­tion to the lo­cal in­dus­try’s ex­ist­ing ca­pac­ity to man­u­fac­ture fer­til­iz­ers var­i­ous com­pa­nies have also been in­vest­ing in blend­ing ca­pac­ity.

It is es­ti­mated that lo­cal in­dus­try has ca­pac­ity to pro­duce half a mil­lion tonnes of basal fer­til­iz­ers per year.

“Def­i­nitely there is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for im­port­ing com­pound fer­tilis­ers when there is so much ca­pac­ity to man­u­fac­ture lo­cally and there is even more ca­pac­ity in the sense that a lot of new play­ers have also built blend­ing plants to mix and get the right com­pounds,” noted Mr Mashin­gaidze.

The lo­cal fer­tiliser in­dus­try is ad­vo­cat­ing for zero im­ports on fin­ished com­pound fer­tilis­ers but raw ma­te­ri­als used in pro­duc­tion only.

How­ever, sup­ple­men­tary am­mo­nium ni­trates and urea im­ports will be re­quired to cover the short­fall in the coun­try.

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