In June 2008, the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) and the Fertilizer Organizations Working Group published a report entitled “Current World Fertilizer Trends and Outlook to 2012.” According to the FAO survey “Strong global demand for fertilisers is stretching the current production capacity to its technical limits.” The increasing world population, expanding demand for biofuels and changing climates are listed as reasons why improved production technology is required urgently.
In terms of nitrogen demand, “Europe is projected to show zero growth, while West Asia is forecast to record the fastest growth in the world at almost 5% per year. Nitrogen fertiliser consumption is also projected to grow at a high annual rate of over 4 percent in Africa and West Asia. In terms of supply, China will account for about half of global capacity expansion. Other expansions are scheduled in West Asia, South Asia, and Africa. Regarding potash demand, “Rapid growth in South Asia and Latin America is expected to continue as crop production intensifies unabatedly”. India has continued a strong pattern of economic growth, and increased potash imports in response to increased demand.
Looking at the big picture, in terms of annual fertiliser consumption, “the East Europe and Central Asia subregion, South Asia, West Asia, Latin America, and Africa will exhibit rapid growth exceeding well over 3 percent; East Asia will grow at almost 3 percent; and in Central Europe, North America and Oceania, growth will be less 2 percent.” In other words, the average global consumption will increase at a steady pace.