Source: The International Fertilizer Industry Association

The International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) released to the public its Short-Term Fertilizer Outlook 2010-2011. The report warns of rising agricultural commodity and food prices, as seen just before the food crisis of 2007/08. It also describes the global fertilizer industry's response to the challenge of increasing agricultural productivity worldwide. IFA estimates that the industry has invested some $40 billion in new capacity for the three main nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) in North Africa; West, South and East Asia; and North and South America.


The economic recovery in 2010 was experienced in agricultural markets, with a rebound of agricultural commodity utilization and prices. A number of factors have contributed to an upward evolution of crop prices. The first is the heat wave that caused poor cereal harvests in the Commonwealth of Independent states (CIS), including extensive fire damage in Russia, as well as the hot and wet conditions in the Corn Belt of the United States. Second, the grain export restrictions currently in effect in Russia and Ukraine are likely to be maintained until June 2011. Third, demand for ethanol, particularly in the United States, remains high, putting pressure on grain markets. Fourth, the cereal stock-to-use ratio is declining to worrying levels, with a significant drop in maize and wheat inventories. 

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