KARACHI - The urea demand in the country witnessed a hefty rise of 18.2 per cent in Calendar Year 2009. National Fertilizer Development Centre (NFDC) data for December 2009 said that owing to fall in DAP prices by 27 per cent a total of 124 per cent growth was witnessed in the outgoing year. The factors contributed to fertilizer offtake growth were said to be enhanced farmer liquidity due to record level of crop support prices supported by better crop yields and greater use of urea for BT Cotton. As per details, with upswings and downswings, urea demand has historically followed a year of double digit growth by slower offtake in the ensuing period. However, CY09 saw an 18 per cent Year on Year growth followed by 11.5 percent rise in demand in CY08. Similarly, DAP demand on the other hand, showed a phenomenal increase mainly due to low base effect, as after two consecutive years of negative growth (18 percent in CY07 and 46 percent in CY08) DAP offtake finally took off in CY09 due to 33 percent lower retail prices level. Lubaina Jamali, an investment analyst, said with Government of Pakistans distributing imported urea solely through NFML, local manufacturers saw their market shares compressed considerably. Faujis combined share in the urea market fell to 48 percent over average 5-year market share of 60 percent. However, FFC was the only company that saw its urea sales rise by 5 percent in CY09.