Global fertilizer demand is forecast to increase substantially over the next two decades. However, a major shift will occur in the distribution of fertilizer demand across the different regions.
This is according to Integer's new study - Global Fertilizer Demand: The Long-term Outlook, which reveals how global crop production and fertilizer consumption are set to change to 2030.
China and India are currently the biggest fertilizer consuming countries in the world and have been the main drivers of fertilizer demand over the past decade. Between 1990 and 2010, fertilizer demand for N, P and K grew by a total of 26.3 million tonnes in China and 16.0 million tonnes in India.
"Both countries are currently over applying nitrogen and phosphates", says Oliver Hatfield, Integer Research Director of Fertilizers, "This is not sustainable in the long term."
Moving towards more efficient N and P application will result in lower fertilizer application and thus slower growth in fertilizer demand in both countries. Integer forecasts total N, P and K demand in China and India to grow by 6.4 and 6.3 million tonnes respectively between 2010 and 2030.
The slowdown in both countries is however balanced by significant fertilizer demand growth in other regions. Brazil for instance will see the biggest single country increase in demand between 2010 and 2030.
Total nitrogen, phosphates and potash increase over the last 20 years was approximately 4.4 million tonnes. However, over the next 20 years demand growth in Brazil is likely to be more than four times as high.
Other less developed agricultures such as Malaysia and Indonesia will also see acceleration in fertilizer demand growth. Under application of fertilizer, combined with the need for higher yields, as well as increase in area will lead to bigger demand for all three nutrients.
Established agricultures such as Europe and the USA will also see a considerable increase in fertilizer demand up to 2030 after demand had been stagnating and even declining over the past two decades. This leads to an altogether more balanced fertilizer demand growth between the different geographical regions.