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fertilizer producers expect big rebound

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    24 December 2009 19:00 [Source: ICIS news]

    HOUSTON (ICIS news--The worlds fertilizer producers, disappointed by 2009's severe drop in demand, anticipate broad-based recovery in 2010 across the three major nutrient segments of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

    Global demand for fertilizers is expected to grow by 4% in 2010 over 2009 levels, the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) said in its outlook for the new year.

    IFA data indicated that global consumption of nitrogen (ammonia), phosphate and potash (potassium) fertilizers in 2008/09 fell by 6.7% to 156.4m tonnes, with the contraction sharper for phosphates and potash (-10.5% and -19.8% respectively) than for nitrogen (-1.5%).

    The situation in 2010 should see a major reversal, with a significant 4% growth in global demand and a strong 7% rebound on the total sales of the mainstream products, the IFA said.

    A revival of global economic growth and the increased use of grains and oilseeds for food and biofuels will spur greater use of fertilizers, said Jim Prokopanko, chief executive of fertilizer producer Mosaic.

    Farm economics resulting in $4.50/bushel corn and $10.00/bushel soybeans for the next several years mean that farmers wont take their foot off the [production] accelerator, Prokopanko said.

    Prokopanko said prices for potash and phosphate in 2010 will adjust to levels that will allow farmers to economically use fertilizers at full rates.

    The prices for phosphate fertilizers will firm in 2010, and the market for sulphur will become tighter, he added.

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