Nitrogen Fertilizer – An Introductory Summary
Nitrogen fertilizers are made from ammonia (NH3) using the Haber – Bosch Process (artificial nitrogen fixation process) named after its inventors Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch who developed it 1910 and since then is being used on an industrial scale enabling nitrogen fertilizers to be used in agriculture for decades. Nitrogen fertilizer, when used in agriculture as a plant nutrient along with pesticides has helped in quadrupling the productivity of agricultural lands across the globe. In fact, nitrogen fertilizer is one of the factors in detonating the population explosion due to the human ability to grow food enabling the population growth from 1.6 billion in the 1900s to 7.5 billion in 2017.
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Global Nitrogenous Fertilizer Market – An outlook
The global nitrogenous fertilizers market according to the Nitrogenous Fertilizers Market Research Reports is valued at $107.74 billion in 2016 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.4% reaching $127.35 billion by 2021. The global demand for nitrogen fertilizers has increased from 105.3 million tons in 2011 to 112.9 million tons in 2015. Of the overall increase in demand for nitrogen fertilizers Asia accounts for 68% (India and China) followed by America 18% then Europe (10%) and 4% (Africa and Oceania ). The top three countries (China, India and United States of America) occupy 57% of the nitrogen fertilizer market share.
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The nitrogen fertilizers are inorganic in nature and it consists of nitrous complexes such as Ammonium Sulphate, Calcium Nitrate, Calcium Ammonium Nitrate and other compounds. Nitrogen is the most abundant elements on earth with the healthy plants often containing 3 to 4 percent of nitrogen in their above ground tissues. However, nitrogen deficiency is one of the most common nutritional problem affecting plants and crops worldwide. By applying nitrogen fertilizers helps in increasing the soil fertility thereby achieving optimum crop yield.
The nitrogenous fertilizers market size is dependent upon the demand for grains and oilseeds crops that drives the fertilizer production uses. Fertilizer production uses 1.2% of the world’s total energy out of which 90% is used for ammonia production, which is a key ingredient in the production of nitrogen fertilizers. The nitrogen fertilizer market price is driven by raw materials costs such as crude oil that saw volatility in prices with Brent crude oil dropping to $52.869/bbl in 2017 from $111.26/bbl in 2011 and different gas price levels or mechanisms. Global urea prices, which are one of the ingredients of nitrogen fertilizer, continued to decline in the second quarter of 2016 due to continued oversupply. In addition, gas prices in most countries still have a correlation to crude oil prices that is leading to volatility in nitrogen fertilizer market price.
Nitrogenous Fertilizers Market Analysis Report – What it says
The global nitrogenous fertilizer market outlook was characterized by near stagnant fertilizer demand during 2016 with the fertilizer industry continuing to face over capacity conditions and market pressures caused by bearish fertilizer demand and intensified supply competition. There are large ammonia capacity reductions in China with capacity expansions in North America, West Asia, and EECA. The global ammonia capacity is expected to reach 230 million tons in 2020 expanding by 10% compared with 2016.
Market Segmentation of global nitrogenous fertilizers market –
The nitrogenous fertilizer market is segmented based on ingredient and application as shown though in a tabulated format as shown below-
|Urea||Crop-based – Oilseeds, Fruits and Vegetables, Grains and Cereals|
|Ammonium Nitrate||Non-Crop Based – Turf & Ornamental Grass and others|
|Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN)|
|Other Nitrogen Fertilizers|
Figure.1 – Segmentation of Nitrogenous Fertilizer Market
The market share of urea based nitrogenous fertilizers occupies the largest segment in terms of consumption with Ammonium Nitrate projected to be the fastest growing segment during the next five years. Urea represents half of the total nitrogen output contributing two-thirds of the projected ammonia increment. Geographically, Asia-Pacific is the largest market for nitrogenous fertilizers with the regional market expected to experience the highest consumption. The major key players or companies dominating the global nitrogenous fertilizer market include-
- Yara International
- Coromandel International Ltd
- Potash Corp
- KOSH Industries
In South Asia – India remains the main importing market for nitrogenous fertilizers.