A slump in urea prices has badly hit sales at Kuwait Petrochemicals - to the tune of some $1.4 million.
The company said it was forced to lower the price of urea, mainly used in agricultural fertilizers, in line with a fall on the international market. Urea brings in about 90 percent of Kuwait Petrochemical's revenues.
Last year, the company sales dropped to $58.11 million from $68.5 million in 1998. Urea production dropped from 772,941 tons in 1998 to 751,625 tons in 1999.
Prices have been falling since 1996 when China, which used to import 53 million tons of urea from world markets, became self-sufficient. India also cut its imports in half, from one million tons a year to 500,000. Competitive production in Gulf countries, Indonesia and Malaysia and South America also fostered the decline.
Nonetheless, officials at Petrochemical are optimistic. World market performance has improved since the beginning of the year and urea prices have risen $70 to $140 dollars a ton in the past nine months.
Developments have pushed Petrochemical to improve and develop the production of urea to be used by sectors other than agriculture and to be sold at new markets. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
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