A Glimpse of Global Phosphoric Acid Market
Phosphoric acid (H3PO4) is the leading inorganic acid produced and consumed in terms of production value and it is the second largest in terms of volume – after sulfuric acid. The most important application of phosphoric acid is in the manufacture of phosphate chemicals consumed primarily as carriers of phosphorus values in fertilizers. The second important use of phosphoric acid is in the production of animal feeds. Phosphoric acid is also used in the manufacture of phosphate chemicals for use in water treatment and detergent builders, dentifrices, fire control chemicals, and food additives.
The global phosphoric acid market is expected to grow annually by about 2% per year. The balance between supply and demand is driven by demand. If all the announced projects materialize—especially the large ones by OPC in Morocco and Ma’aden in Saudi Arabia, as well as those by Vale in Brazil and by Sunkar in Kazakhstan—incremental capacity additions will be slightly in excess of additional demand. This will lead to an overcapacity situation, which is expected to depress operating rates. Global trade currently accounts for about 11% of demand.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of phosphoric acid:
Food-Grade Phosphate in Asia Is the Fastest Growing Segment
Detergents and cleaners account for the largest share of industrial and food phosphate use. However, this share is declining due to increased environmental regulation of phosphate use in these products. Demand is increasing for other uses, mainly in the food and beverage segment, as per capita incomes rise around the world.
With around 60 percent of the world’s population, Asia is the largest consumer of industrial and food phosphates. Demand from the food and beverage industry is the fastest-growing segment as rising populations and per-capita incomes drive the demand for processed food and beverages.
China Phosphoric Acid Market
Because of the unique advantages in the productions of phosphoric acid by furnace process in China, the food grade phosphoric acid has become the most advantageous product in China. In the period of “Thirteenth Five Years’ Plan”, the Chinese government aims to develop the deep process of food additive industry to increase the added value to the products. It is predicted that the annual demand of food grade phosphoric acid from China will reach 200,000 tonnes. With the continuous developing of beverage and food industry, and the increasing demand of exportation, the consumption of food grade phosphoric acid is pulled rapidly. The demand of food grade phosphoric acid will reach around 15% per year in the period of “Thirteenth Five Years’ Plan”, which is a very huge potential in the future developments.
In the aspect of market demanding, food grade phosphoric acid as a deep process product is widely accepted in the industry. On the other hand, the Chinese government raised the tax reimbursement rate for some food additives, among them are the leading STPP and SHMP from 0 to 13% and 5% to 9% accordingly. This movement can not only improve the relationship between supply and demand in the domestic market, but also strengthen the competiveness of China origin food grade phosphoric acid in the global market and expand the exportation. In the mean time, the domestic producers of food grade phosphoric acid can benefit a lot from it.
The following chart shows the export volume and growth rate of phosphoric acid from China in 2010-2015:
The following chart shows the export volume of phosphoric acid from China in 2015: