Sulphur Fertilisers

Sulphur fertilisers can be broadly categorised into the following groups. A number of these have been included in the Ferrtiliser Control Order (FCO) and their sulphur content is now a part of the fertiliser specifications. The pricing and usage of sulphur fertilisers is closely linked to the fertiliser policies as they directly effect the sulphur fertiliser industry.

Sulphate Containing Fertilisers

  • Ammoniun Sulphate
  • Single Superphosphate
  • Ammonium Phosphate Sulphate
  • Potassium Magnesium Sulphate
  • Potassium Sulphate
  • Magnesium Sulphate
  • Sulphates of Micronutrients
  • Gypsum

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Fertilisers Containing Elemental Sulphur

  • Elemental Sulphur
  • Sulphur Bentonite
  • Elemental S Fortified N/P Fertilisers
  • S Coated Fertilisers

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Liquid Sulphur Fertilisers      

  • Ammonium Thiosulphate
  • Potassium Thiosulphate

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S Fertilisers in the Fertiliser Control Order (FCO)

A number of sulphur fertilisers have been included in the Ferrtiliser Control Order (FCO) and their sulphur content is now a part of the fertiliser specifications. It is also mandatory to declare the sulphur content in the product on the bag.The following S containing fertilizers have been included in the FCO and their S content are a part of minimum specified content. All sulphate salts of micronurients also contain 10-17% S which is now a part of fertilizer specifications, although only zinc sulphate is listed below.

 

Products*

Nutrient content in percent

S

N

P2O5

K2O

Ammonium Sulphate (AS)

24

21

 

 

Single Superphosphate (SSP)

12

 

16

 

Potassium Sulphate (SOP)

18

 

 

50

Ammonium Phosphate Sulphate (APS)

15

16-20

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elemental Sulphur products (S bentonite etc)

85-100

 

 

 

Zinc Sulphate

10 - 15

 

 

 

S-fortified Ammonium Phosphate

15

13

33

 



Sulphur Fertiliser Industry and Policy in India

Indian fertilizer industry started with the production of SSP, a well-known S fertiliser, in 1906 at Ranipet, near Chennai. At present, the major S fertilizers are SSP, APS and AS. In many areas. Mineral gypsum is also being used as a source of PNS.  During 2006-2007, the production of AS  was 635,000 t, that of SSP 3.0 mmt and of APS 2.4 mmt, providing a total of 788,000 t S. Particularly in the case of SSP, the production is much below the installed capacity of 6.7 mmt.

Sulphur as a plant nutrient has been neglected for long in fertilizer pricing and policy. In 2003, the Government recognized the place of S in S fertilisers and the S content was included in the product specifications for all S-containing materials included sulphates of micronutrients. In 2005, the task force on Balanced Fertilization set up by the government further recognised the importance of S. The task force has made specific recommendations for promoting the use of S by stating that “Sulphur needs to be recognized as a critical nutrient at par with NPK for both price fixation and subsidy”. One of the steps suggested by the industry for the revival of SSP industry is that the rate of concession (subsidy) on SSP should be linked with the rate of concession on DAP on nutrient basis.

Recently, in 2008 the Government of India have announced a number of policy initiatives for S and S containing fertilizers. These are:

  1. He maximum retail price of powdered SSP has been fixed at Rs 3,400/t and Rs 3,800/t for the granulated product uniformly all over India.
  2. The Concession to SSP producers will be separate for those units using indigenour rock and those using imported rock. The rate of concession will be worked out on monthly basis.
  3. Producers of boronated SSP will be allowed to charge 10% extra over ordinary SSP.
  4. Marketing of SSP will only be allowed through “large” manufacturers with an established marketing network or through urea/NPK manufacturers. The eligible SSP companies will be those  with an annula sales of 100,000 tonnes or more. Smaller producers will have to tie up with these units to market their produce.

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