Khaitan Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd Management Discussions.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT

Some of the statements in the report may be forward looking and are stated as required by applicable laws & regulations. Many factors may affect the actual results, which could be different from what the Directors envisage in terms of future performance and outlook.

The Company’s Performance is dependent on several external factors such as performance of monsoons, government policy, fluctuation of prices of raw material and finished products and also their availability, and not to say the least, the pandemic situation in the country, which could adversely affect the operations of the Company.

BUSINESS OVERVIEW:

The Company is mainly engaged in the manufacture of Single Super Phosphate (Fertilizer), Sulphuric Acid (Chemical) and Soya Edible Oil. All the segments are related to agriculture and greatly affected by monsoons.

Segment-wise Business Review and Operational and Financial Performance:

The summarized performance of the Company in terms of production and sales for last 5 years is

(Quantity in MT)

Particular 2020-21 2019-20 2018-19 2017-18 2016-17
Production:
SSP 453218 436181 318554 300375 415452
Sulphuric Acid 182042 209787 180443 94873 105792
Oleum/Liquid So3 2192 3706 1007 997 3245
Seed Crushing - - - - -
Refined Oil - - - - -
Sales:
SSP 466237 400796 303679 338986 385574
Sulphuric Acid 108827 132674 140329 52281 51710
Soya Oil 613 637 678 861 1001
De-Oiled Cake - - - - -

The summarized financial performance of the Company for last 5 years is as under:

Particular 2020-21 2019-20 2018-19 2017-18 2016-17
Sales:
Fertilizer 48131.56 43328.59 36657.38 31513.72 35366.63
Soya 632.74 556.50 580.93 4045.64 1347.60
PBIDT:
Fertilizer 5550.49 4204.07 3650.12 2813.15 2936.18
Soya / Agri (319.50) (250.31) (232.71) 16.47 361.03
EPS(Rs) : 2.56 1.55 0.81 0.17 0.17
DIVIDEND: 25% 20% 5% 5% 5%
Face Value (Per share) 1 1 1 1 1

The year 2020-21 turned out to be a pandemic year. With a country wide lockdown to begin with, the Company could start its operations only gradually and that too with a lot of restrictive conditions like poor availability of manpower, service engineers, spare parts suppliers and so on. However despite all the above restrictive conditions the Company could improve its performance over the previous year due to several factors including a normal monsoon year. Fertilizer being covered in the ‘Essential Commodities Act’, the movement during the lockdown was not restricted by the GOI. This coupled with good monsoons and good income with farmers saw Fertilizer Industry as one of the few Industry’s to do well in the pandemic year. The share of agriculture in gross domestic product (GDP) has reached almost 20 per cent for the first time in the last 17 years, making it the sole bright spot in GDP performance during 2020-21, according to the Economic Survey 2020-2021.

The GOI could successfully implement the partial Direct Benefit Transfer system for the Fertilizer Industry. The GOI also agreed to keep the subsidy for the SSP sector separately earmarked within the overall ‘Phosphates and Potassium’ segment. This further enabled improve the liquidity in the sector. During the current year the turnover of your Company has increased from Rs. 43,937.95 lacs for the year 2019-20 to Rs. 48,770.31 lacs for the year 2020-21, the operating income has increased from Rs.4,817.91 lacs in 2019-20 to Rs.6,031.57 lacs in 2020-21, and the cash profit has increased from Rs.3,007.44 lacs to Rs.4,676.61 lacs in the respective periods, while the net profit after tax has increased from Rs. 1,508.05 lacs to Rs.2,486.67 lacs.

FERTILIZER & CHEMICALS DIVISION:

The Company has India’s largest Single Super Phosphate (SSP) production capacity of 11,13,500 MT in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh & Gujarat alongwith Sulphuric Acid (SA) production capacity of 2,70,600 MT in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh & Chhattisgarh. Sulphuric Acid is also a raw material for production of SSP.

The Company has produced 4,53,218 MT (previous year 4,36,181 MT) Single Super Phosphate and 1,84,234 MT (previous year 2,13,514 MT) Sulphuric Acid and sold 4,66,237 MT (previous year 4,00,796 MT) & 1,11,071 MT (previous year 1,36,363 MT) respectively.

The Company is continuously trying to improve its share in the fortified high value added fertilizers segment. The products are picking up well in the market.

The Company is continuing its efforts for optimizing its current assets to leverage sales on the one hand and diversifying into new geographical markets on the other. Focus is being laid on producing more value added fortified fertilizers, to improve the product portfolio.

INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENTS:

Agriculture is the third largest sector of Indian Economy, which contributes around 17% of total GDP of the Country. Fertilizer Industry, with the emerging scenario, plays vital role in the growth of Agriculture Sector. The balanced use of chemical fertilizer is important not only for increasing agricultural productivity but also for sustaining soil fertility. Single Super Phosphate is a multi nutrient fertilizer containing phosphate (16%) and sulphur (11%) as primary nutrients. SSP is applied as a basal fertilizer being rich in secondary nutrients like calcium and magnesium oxide and several micro nutrients. It is an essential Fertilizer for crops likes Oilseeds, Pulses, Sugarcane, Fruits and Vegetables, Tea etc. and for sulphur deficient soils. Main features of SSP Fertilizer Industry are- Basic need for agriculture and its development.

SSP is multi-nutrient fertilizer containing P O as primary nutrient and Sulphur, Calcium & magnesium as secondary nutrients.

SSP fertilizer is the lowest priced fertiizer per kg, and preferred by small & marginal farmers.

Highly dependent on Imported Raw Material.

Subsidised by Government of India to control the prices of the input to the farmers.

Substantial Import of Finished Products other than SSP.

Agronomic Importance of SSP:

SSP helps in improving root growth and development which is most important for uptake of plant nutrient and water.

For Leguminous crops like groundnut, use of SSP, ensures a large number of nodules on the roots, which fix atmospheric Nitrogen directly into the soil and also increase Nitrogen uptake.

SSP improves soil aeration and increase water holding capacity of the soil and increase root growth which increase crop yield.

Oil content of Groundnut and other oil seeds increases. The quantity and quality of oil seeds crops increases.

In Sugarcane, the sugar content increases which provide more production and monetary benefit to the farmers

SSP increases resistance power of the plants against attack of pest and disease.

SSP increases protein content in pulses crop

SSP helps in leaching excess water from the root zone and prevent yellowing of the crop

SSP improves storage capacity of product

SSP also acts as a soil reclaiming agent.

SSP, which is a poor farmer’s fertilizer (price wise), is an option to optimize the use of phosphate fertilizers. It also helps to treat sulphur deficiency in soil (40% Indian soil is sulphur deficient) as well as for further enhancement of yields at the least cost. SSP being an indigenously manufactured fertilizer saves on foreign exchange outgo vis a vis imported phosphatic fertilizers.

The Industry, however has been suffering from poor quality supply from some unethical players in the market, mainly from the unorganized sector. The Ministry of Fertilizers has now laid special focus on improving the quality in the SSP sector. Recently the GOI has organized a ‘Chintan Shivir’ to focus on this area apart from other areas needing improvement.

Government’s continuous thrust to encourage SSP to substitute imports of DAP and NPK is an indicator of upward trend in the Industry’s future.

Future Outlook:

The continued pandemic situation and the spreading of the second wave is a cause of concern. Fertilizer being covered in the ‘Essential Commodities Act’ is exempt from restrictions on movements during lockdowns is less likely to be affected as compared to the other Industries. The resilience of the farming community in the face of adversities made agriculture the only sector to have clocked a positive growth of 3.4 per cent at constant prices in 2020-21, when most of the other sectors showed a decline. However, the pandemic can adversely affect the performance of the Company.

On the bright side, it is expected that the Country will have an near normal monsoon in 2021 for the third consecutive year, giving relief to Indian agriculture sector and related industries like Fertilizer.

The Government has floated the idea of replacing the input subsidy with direct income support to farmers and there is a need for "replacing untargeted subsidies (power and fertiliser) by direct income support to address agricultural stress and to achieve doubling farmers’ income. The government has been spending nearly 30% of its total subsidy on food, fuel and fertiliser to ensure that farmers get the key agriculture input at cheaper rates. The Government also seems keen to implement the last phase of the subsidy reforms by way of direct benefit transfer to the farmers. The scheme is under consideration with the Niti Aayog and other government working groups. Once implemented it shall help eliminate false invoicing altogether and also diversion of subsidized fertilizer for other uses. It shall be very beneficial for the SSP Industry.

The government has recently cleared the dues of the fertilizer companies. This is being done by adding Rs 65,000 crore to an already existing subsidy allocation of Rs. 71,309 crore. Clearing of dues has served as a motivation for industry and provided a much needed liquidity relief to the SSP sector.

The year 2018 saw the beginning of DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer), which would transfer money directly to the retailer’s account. Presently, the companies are being paid only after the actual sale to the farmer. Currently, there are 2.3 lakh retailers across the country, attached to a Point of Sale (PoS) machine, which is in turn linked to Ministry of Fertiliser’s ‘E-Urvarak’ DBT channel. The retailers are reimbursed weekly, directly to their accounts.

On the agricultural front, the government has continued its focus on augmenting farmer income through various steps. Increased allocation across the schemes to drive irrigation facilities, improve agricultural markets, augment the allied sectors supporting income, setting-up of

FPOs, crop insurance scheme and income supplementation scheme is a major positive. With these steps, Industries expects a positive rub-off effect on fertiliser offtake. However, subsidy reduction remains a major negative takeaway for the fertiliser sector.

The raw material prices of Sulphur have increased sharply since January 2021 and are now going downwards, however the prices of rock phosphate have increased mainly on account of short availability of material from suppliers and increase in sea freights. This will increase the cost of production and with a time lag result in an increase of farm gate prices of fertilizers.

The Government has however to decided to maintain the Nutrient Based Subsidy rates at the same level as last year for the fertilizers. The SSP Industry is very optimistic for the coming financial year, on account of expected normal monsoon. Monsoons have a major impact on the agricultural sector, besides the commodity prices of major raw material inputs. In such a regime SSP fertilizer being a low cost fertilizer has an increased preference with the farmers.

The performance of the Company is expected to be better in coming years considering its basic strengths like high integrated capacity which is already operational, multi-geographical locations and established brands. The well maintained plant and equipments ensure uninterrupted production and distribution of goods.

Opportunity, Threats, Risk & Concerns:

The Company welcomes the Government’s plan to introduce DBT subsidy directly to farmers which shall give the farmers unrestricted choice as well as make them understand the real worth of fertilizer used by them.

The Company is in an advantageous position for tapping its already established production capacity with multi- geographical locations; wide spread marketing network and high brand value for its product. NBS policy as envisaged has attracted new entrants in the market, which in fact shall be better for the wider reach of this long neglected product and establishing the SSP Industry in its right place, However, entry of new entrants in overall bad market conditions has created excess supply in the market resulting into changing consumption and stocking patterns necessitating higher inventories.

SSP fertilisers are based on imported raw-materials which can face severe volatility in prices and foreign currency exchange rates, affecting the profitability of the Company. Agro-Climatic conditions also have a large effect on the performance of the Company.

Uncertainty of monsoon, volatile international market of raw material, seasonal consumption of fertilizer mainly in two months each in Kharif and Rabi, lack of awareness of benefits of SSP consumption amongst farmer fraternity, clubbed with logistics availability/cost and higher requirement of working capital shall remain concerns for the Industry & of the Company.

Covid 19 Impact:

The COVID-19 (first and second phase), has put a lot of uncertainty in all the industries in the world, and also in India. However the impact was minimized by GOI for the fertilizer industry by exempting it from lockdown and movement across the country being an essential commodity covered under the ‘Essential Commodities Act, 1955.’ The current second wave will affect the performance of the Company to some extent.

Further, even though the GOI/State Governments did exempt the fertilizer industry from operation lockdown and movement, local factors like factory being in the containment zone, reverse migration of labour, delay in availability of spare parts and delay in repair due to restriction on travel of service engineers are some factors which will impact operations to some extent in the current year.

Soya/Agri Division:

The Company is having 1400 TPD Soyabean crushing capacity along with 100 TPD Edible Oil Refinery located in Soyabean growing area i.e., Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, which is well connected with rail/road network with nearby ports.

The Company has reduced its activities in this segment to a large extent alongwith total control on fixed expenses due to low margins in the Industry.

During the year, the Company has crushed Nil MT (Previous year Nil MT) Soyabean seed.

INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENT:

The most popular and the largest produced oilseed in the world is Soyabean. It has got the support of wide variety of climates and soils and that is why it is considered to be the most economical crop and has a good worth. Soya oil is extracted from the basic Soyabean through complex refining process by crushing Soyabeans, 17-18% soy oil is recovered and the rest is called soy meal or De-oiled cake.

The contribution of soy oil in world’s total oil production has reached around 25%, after growing at 5.8% p.a. during the last 10-16 years, and figures around 31 million tons in absolute terms. Countries like U.S, China, Argentina and India have a strong consumer base. Consumption has also risen in other nations like European Union, Central Europe, Egypt, Morocco, Mexico, and Brazil. Soyabean meal comprises of the remnant after the oil extraction. It has high protein content and is easily digestible and that is why it serves as an animal feed and accounts for about 65% of the world’s total animal feed. Soyabean holds a very important position in the Indian agriculture and economy. Madhya Pradesh has the lead among the Soyabean producing states in India followed by Maharashtra. The other major producers are Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. The major trading centers for soy in India include Indore and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Nagpur in Maharashtra and Kota in Rajasthan. The country is seeing increased consumption of soyabean meal mainly going into poultry and cattle feed.

The total crop size in India is about 10-12 million tonnes out of world crop of 250 million tonnes. Soya Oil is consumed in the country while sadly a protein deficient country like India is exporting its cheapest protein containing soy meal to other countries due to poor promotion of its benefits and by incentivising Exports. However, in due course of time home consumption of Soyabean meal is bound to increase.

Soyabean and Soy-Oil are actively traded in Indian commodity exchanges namely, National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) and Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX). However, the trading in these exchanges are now a days in the hand of speculator instead of showing a reasonable trend due to non feasibility of ‘Free Trade’ and ‘Liquid Market’.

Future Outlook:

In India, crushing capacity of Soyabean is much higher than availability of raw material. In spite of higher capacity, the efficient processing capacity in good locations like ours, shall perform reasonably well with higher Soyabean crop due to increase in yield. Eventually on expiry of incentive period accorded to new entrant’s alongwith control on tax evasion, existing players like us will have a competitive edge in a level playing field. The Company has reduced its fixed expenses in view of limited activities.

Opportunity, Threats, Risk & Concerns:

The Company is enjoying ideal location of its soya processing plant i.e. at the heart of Soyabean cultivation area, which assures us a value added advantage in operations The present yield per hectare is around 1.2 MT against world average of 2.4 MT. The yield is increasing by adopting good practices by farmers and reasonable return on Input.

The Indian consumption of soy meal/DOC has started to increase and therefore Indian soy meal need not compete in International market which produces and sells its surplus Soyabean, with hefty State subsidies to agriculture.

Production of Soyabean is highly dependent on the vagaries of monsoon. The delayed and uneven monsoon creates shortage of raw material thus affecting the capacity utilisation and profitability of the Industry. The large crushing capacity with insufficient raw material alongwith long shelf life and volatility of international market make Soyabean & soya oil very speculative products in Commodity Exchanges.

In view of increasing speculative behavior in the market, which is not at all aligned with either international market or with forward market, the Company has reduced its activities in this segment to large extent.

INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEM AND THEIR ADEQUACY:

The Company conducts its business with integrity and high standards of ethics, and in compliance with the laws and regulations that govern its business. The Company has a well established system of internal controls in operations, supported by suitable monitoring procedures and self-assessment exercises. The financial and commercial functions at various locations are structured and reviewed timely to provide adequate support and controls for the business of the Company.

In addition to external audit, The Company has appointed M/s APAS & Company, Chartered Accountants, as an Internal Auditor, who report significant findings to the Audit Committee of the Board. Consequently required steps are taken to improve the operations.

HUMAN RESOURCE AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS:

The ability to attract, onboard, develop and engage the right kind of talent is crucial to an organization’s long term success. Company strongly believes in continuously taking steps towards talent management, leadership development, employee engagement. Employees are the back - bone of good organization and to motivate them to achieve greater heights, the Company undertook various HR initiatives towards their development, enhancement and retention. The Company considers its highly motivated and well-maintained team as its most valuable asset. As on 31.03.2021, the Company has employed 634 peoples at various locations in India.

Considering the health and safety of the employees of the Company and in line with the advisories, orders and directions issued by both State and Central Government in order to prevent the spread the corona virus (Covid19) outbreak, the Company has carried out operations at plant level as per advisories from time to time. Further the Company has also implemented Work from Home Policy to ensure the safety of employees post covid19 issue. The Company has also taken up with the respective health authorities for vaccination of all its employees. The HR department of the Company is continuously in touch with the employees to guide them and solve their problems. The HR Department of the Company has continuously created the awareness of Covid 19 among the employees of the Company through E-mails and has also educated the employees in respect of personal hygiene and precautions which needs to be taken in this situation of pandemic. The Company has conducted the interviews through telephone and skype and meetings through Video Conferencing in order to maintain social distancing which is most essential due to the spread of Covid 19. Amidst all the pressures and demands of the growing business, Industrial Relations continued to be reasonably cordial with our Union(s).

ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY:

The Company has always considered safety and environment one of its key focus area and has always strived to make continues improvements in these two aspects.

At Company, environment concerns have always taken precedence; to address the concerns on Environment Protection, the Company has set up an Online Monitoring System at all the plants and concrete efforts were made towards natural resource conservation by way of Water Harvesting, Sewage Treatment Plant, etc.

CONCLUSION:

The Company dwells on chalking out the best possible future plans and policies so as to avoid the pitfalls and following the best course in the long run. In both the business segments, a focus on assets utilization, earning maximization, continuous growth and relentless strengthening of the internal efficiencies will enable the Company to deliver superior value for its shareholders on a sustained basis in future.