The global fertilizer market is expected to value at US$155.8 billion in 2019, and it is expected to register a CAGR of 3.8% during the forecast period (2019-2024).
In 2018, Asia-Pacific was the largest geographical segment of the market studied and accounted for a share of around 60% of the overall market. The fertilizer industry was heavily challenged in 2016. It was confronted with uneven global nutrient demand, soft economic prospects, depressed crop prices, rising market competition, and volatile energy prices. This combination created high uncertainty in the fertilizer market throughout the year.
Since 2012, a sustained downturn in the world consumption of fertilizer market, coupled with decreasing crop prices, mainly in the United States and Asia-Pacific, has made it difficult to maintain consistent growth. The major technological innovations in the industry, along with growing demand for bio-based and micronutrient fertilizers, are expected to drive the market. However, regulatory and environmental constraints and high production cost are likely to act as drawbacks in the industry.
Key market trends
Growing demand for micronutrient fertilizers
Micronutrients are essential for the optimum growth of plants. During 2013, nearly 50% of the cultivated land area worldwide of contained a low concentration of zinc. It was expected by 2018 that this deficiency would reach 65%. Field trials proved that the application of micronutrient fertilizers increased crop yield from 8% to 20% annually.
Yara International is the market leader, in terms of market share, in micronutrient fertilizers. The company plans to make further investments and is investing around US$330 million in Brazil. It closed its manufacturing facilities in France, due to both strategic and economic considerations. Large companies are focusing on research and development, product launches, and aggressive acquisition strategy. In the past few years, Valagro has been the most active player, in terms of strategic development, in the global micronutrient market.
Asia-Pacific dominates the global market
Asia-Pacific accounts for 60% of the global fertilizer market. South Asia and East Asia are the major fertilizer consumers in Asia. In 2015, Asia's share of global nitrogen consumption was 60%, with China representing approximately half of the said consumption. In Asia, rice is a big nitrogen-consuming crop.
Owing to the growing concern over the current pattern of fertilizer use, with heavy reliance on nitrogenous fertilizer, coupled with poor nutrition management, lack of complementary inputs, declining soil fertility, and weak marketing and distribution systems, have all emerged as major restraints to improve fertilizer effectiveness in the region. These concerns have given way to biofertilizers and micronutrient fertilizers to grow and fuel the fertilizers market in the region.
The global fertilizer market is fragmented, and the top ten players constitute a small share of the global fertilizer market, while the other fertilizer companies constitute for the larger part of the market share, based on overall fertilizer market revenue in 2018.
The company's largest investment has been in the product launch segment, in which, the company introduced as many as 11 new products to the market, in different regions, such as Africa and Latin America in 2017. The development of regional markets and local players in different parts of the world are the major factors for the fragmented nature of the market.