The South America Fertilizer Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period (2020-2025). Top three crops grown in Latin America were soybeans, corn, and sugarcane, which have increased significantly over the past two decades. Production is expected to continue to rise, as growers in countries, such as Brazil, continue to expand planted area and push for higher yields. This, in turn, is expected to support increased fertilizer consumption. Owing to the high demand for potash for South American crops, the potassic fertilizer, occupies the largest share of the domestic market. South America imports fertilizers extensively, in 2017, it imported 6.7 million metric tons of nitrogen fertilizer, 4.7 million metric ton of phosphate fertilizer and 7.0 million metric ton of potash fertilizes (FAO). Major exports of fertilizers to the South American countries are Canada, the Russian Federation and the United States, Morocco, Germany, Algeria, and China.
Key Market Trends
Increase in Area Harvested
An increase in land area under agriculture of a region is both evidence of efficient use of fertilizers in the past and an indication of an increase in the use of fertilizers and other yield-enhancing chemicals in the future. In South America, area harvested under major food crops has been continuously increasing, mainly due to the growing population and related increase in demand for food grains. In Argentina itself, area harvested under cereals grew from 11.7 million hectares in 2015 to 15.1 million hectares in 2018 (FAO). Area harvested under coarse grain in South America was 27.7 million hectares in 2015 and it increased to 31.2 million hectares in 2018 (FAO). Application of fertilizers for bio-fuel production in countries like Brazil and Argentina is also helping the market to grow, given the continuous expansion of the biofuel industry. This increase in farmland ensures continuous demand for fertilizers, thereby driving the market significantly during the forecast period.
Brazil Dominates Fertilizer Consumption in the Region
Fertilizer consumption measures the quantity of plant nutrients used per unit of arable land. According to our analysis, Brazil accounts for 66% of total domestically-used fertilizer in South America, and it is continuing to expand its growing areas for crops. Hence, fertilizer demand has increased in recent years. Urea accounts for the highest share in nitrogen fertilizer consumption. Brazil used 5.1 million metric tons of Nitrogen fertilizer in 2017, which grew from 4.4 million metric tons in 2016 (FAO). Potassic is the fastest-growing fertilizer segment, owing to increasing soybean cultivation in Brazil. Potassic fertilizer is suitable for low-fertile and acid soils of tropical Brazil, which helps in increasing the yield and productivity of the soybean crop. In 2017, 6.3 million metric tons of potash fertilizer was used in agricultural lands in Brazil, the highest among all the South American countries (FAO). Hence, this trend of high use of fertilizer is likely to continue to drive the market in the region during the forecast period.
The fertilizer market is consolidated, and the top ten players constitute a large share, while the other fertilizer companies constitute for the smaller part of the market share, based on overall fertilizer market revenue in 2019. The companies in the market are investing heavily in product development, especially in the complex fertilizer segment. The market is also moving towards the usage of customized solutions for specific crops and specific regions. The major players in the market are Yara International ASA, The Mosaic Company, Nutrien Limited, K+S AG and Groupe OCP, among others.
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