China was the largest consuming country in the global chemical fertilizers market in 2018, accounting for over 22% of the market. There has been a rapid increase in the production and export of phosphates from China. In the past, there was a limited supply of phosphate rock due to limited production capacity and monopolistic pricing in most countries, but there has been a rapid increase in phosphate production in China. For example, in 2014, the world trade in diammonium phosphate and monoammonium phosphate was estimated to be around 24 million metric tonnes, of which China provided 8 million tonnes. This is significant given that ten years ago, Chinese exports were close to zero. In 2016, China produced 17,295.7 thousand metric tonnes of phosphate fertilizer, and the consumption was 11,857.6 thousand metric tonnes. The imports of phosphate fertilizers into China were 198.6 thousand metric tonnes, and the exports from China were 4,714.2 thousand metric tonnes.
China has large amounts of reserves of the three main components for fertilizers manufacturing: phosphate, natural gas and potash. China has a significant capacity for producing nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers. The country is self-sufficient in these two fertilizers; it also exports them to other countries. As of 2017, China’s phosphate reserves were estimated at 3.1 billion metric tonnes.
Asia pacific, the largest region in the chemical fertilizers market in 2018, is expected to decline at an annual rate of -0.3% to 2022. This is due to government initiatives in countries of the region promoting the use of a smaller amount of fertilizers per hectare for better crop yields, and the decreased affordability of fertilizers due to a rise in their prices. Africa will be the fastest growing region in the market to 2022, owing to government initiatives in the region to achieve “Green Evolution” on the African continent by increasing the use of fertilizers per hectare.