The government on Monday called on fertilizer producers to improve cooperation with suppliers in Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco — major producers of raw materials for making NPK and phosphate fertilizers — to help guarantee local supplies.
NPK is a compound fertilizer made primarily from nitrogen, phosphate and potassium.
“We urge fertilizer producers to improve their cooperation with companies in these three countries because they have large stocks of phosphate and potassium,” Anton Apriyantono, minister of agriculture, said on Monday.
Anton visited the three countries on Wednesday and Thursday. He said the suppliers reaffirmed their commitments to continuing to export the raw materials used to make fertilizers to Indonesia.
“Before the visit, we already imported phosphorus and potassium from them. However, the volume fluctuated,” he said.
Phosphate is an important fertilizer because it helps strengthen the roots and stems of plants.
During Anton’s visit, state-owned fertilizer producer PT Pupuk Sriwijaya (Pusri) agreed to sign preliminary agreements with two Tunisian companies, Compagnie des Phosphates de Gafsa and Goupe Chimique Tunjisien, to supply rock phosphate and phosphoric acid to Indonesia.
Pusri also plans to develop a joint venture firm with the two companies to build a factory for either phosphoric acid or NPK in Tunisia.
“We’re still in the early stages of an agreement,” Dadang Heru Kodri, president director of Pusri, said on Monday. “We will discuss [the cooperation] further.”
Another state-owned fertilizer producer, PT Pupuk Kaltim, also expressed a willingness to cooperate with Office Cherifien Des Phosphates, a Moroccan phosphate and phosphate acid producer, to buy 100,000 tons of phosphate.
“The companies will hold further discussions,” Anton said.
Pupuk also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Arab Phosphate Company in Jordan, which will supply muriate of phosphate. Imports are expected to start on Oct. 27 and run for one year. The amount of phosphate was not disclosed.
Last year, Indonesian fertilizer producers used 800,000 tons of phosphate to make NPK and phosphate fertiliz ers.