Global fertilizer demand to rise steadily over next five years - IFA

13 June 2012 16:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Global fertilizer demand will rise steadily to 193m tonnes of nutrients in 2016/17 versus 181m tonnes in 2012/13, the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) forecast on Wednesday.

Demand for nitrogen, phosphate and potassium will be driven by “supportive agricultural market fundamentals” and delays to new projects will result in the market remaining tight for the foreseeable future, the Paris-based group said.

According to the IFA’s Medium-Term Fertilizer Outlook 2012-2016 report, average annual demand growth is at 3.7% for potash, 2.3% for phosphates and 1.5% for nitrogen. South Asia alone is likely to account for about 60% of the net increase in demand, while Latin America is seen as “reinforcing its position as an engine of future expansion.”

“Reduced inventories and strong crop prices are expected to persist…because of the need to supply the fast-rising food, feed, fibre and bio-energy markets,” said Patrick Heffer, director of the IFA’s Agriculture Service.

Turning to supply, global total nutrient sales for all uses reached 221m tonnes in 2011, up 4% year on year. The IFA predicts global sales in the fertilizer and industrial sectors will rise by an average 1.8% per year to 245m tonnes in 2016.

Almost 250 fertilizer plants are projected to come on stream by 2017, though many have faced delays of 6-18 months. This $90bn (€72bn) of investment will boost global nitrogen capacity in 2017 by 17-25% versus 2011, with phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizer capacity seen up 20% and potash capacity up 42%.

Between 2011 and 2016, global trade for seaborne ammonia, potash and processed phosphates is seen 15-20% ahead of 2011, with sulphur trade seen up 20-25% and urea exports up 15-30% “depending on India’s import demand and capacity developments”, the IFA noted.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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