China, India, and Brazil are three key agribusiness markets for companies such as Israel Chemicals (ICL), Uralkali, Belaruskali, PotashCorp (POT), Agrium (AGU), and Mosaic (MOS). These three markets are heavy users of all three NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) macronutrients.
China tops the list
China tops the list hands down with a total consumption of NPK fertilizers at 52.0 million tons in 2014, according to the International Fertilizer Industry Association. Of the total combined consumption of 131.0 million tons for these countries, China accounts for 40.0% of the consumption share.
India is second with a total NPK consumption of 25.0 million tons, or about 19.0% of the consumption share. The United States follows with a total consumption of 20.0 million tons, or 15.0% of the total consumption. Western/Central Europe consumed 17.0 million tons of NPK nutrients in 2014, accounting for 13.0% of the global share.
Brazil consumed 14.0 million tons of NPK fertilizers in 2014, which accounted for 11.0% of the consumption share. It’s increasingly becoming an important market for agribusiness companies. We’ll look more at the Brazilian market later in this series.
Russia accounted for just 2.0% of the total global fertilizer consumption in 2014, at 2.5 million tons. While there are numerous regions around the world, the countries mentioned above, especially China, India, the United States, and Brazil, are critical for agribusiness companies (MOO). The weather, the political environment, and currency fluctuations in these countries can significantly influence the profitability of fertilizer companies.
Fertilizer consumption by type
In the above graph, you can see that nitrogen fertilizers make up a large portion of the total NPK fertilizers consumed in most of the regions we’ve looked at. Phosphate and potash fertilizers follow.
In this series, we’ll be looking at the supply and demand dynamics for each of the three NPK fertilizer types for China, India, and Brazil.