Vietnam plans to import 11 million tonnes of fertiliser for agricultural production next year, a major increase from this year's total of 10.3 million, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Demand for urea stood at 2.2 million tonnes, SA at 900,000 tonnes, NPK at 4 million tonnes and DAP at 1.8 million tonnes.

While domestic producers can satisfy demand for some kinds of fertilisers, they still have to import others, the ministry said.

Vietnam imported 3.81 million tonnes of fertiliser in the January-October period.

Last month alone, the Ministry of Industry and Trade estimated the country's fertiliser imports totaled 450,000 tonnes, a 2 percent surge over the previous month but a 6 percent decrease year-on-year.

Urea imports saw the highest increase, rising 98 percent against the same period last year to 138,000 tonnes.

Dinh Vu Fertiliser Plant in the northern city of Hai Phong has a yearly output of 330,000 tonnes, meeting 30 percent of domestic demand for DAP.

The country has to spend hundreds of millions of US dollars to import over 800,000 tonnes of DAP every year.

The plant's owners expect to increase its annual capacity to 660,000 tonnes.

The Vietnam National Chemicals Group (VINACHEM) will invest in building a plant with a similar capacity in northern Lao Cai province's Tang Loong Industrial Park. The plant is expected to become operational in 2015.

The company has also striven to implement rock salt mining projects in Laos to produce 320,000 tonnes of kali fertiliser each year.

In 2015, local enterprises will be able to meet 100 percent of demand for urea, phosphate and NPK, 70-80 percent of demand for DAP and 30 percent for SA.-VNA