Phosphate rock is a sedimentary rock having huge concentration of phosphate minerals. The phosphate rock market can be segmented on the basis of sources from which it is mined such as marine phosphate deposits, igneous phosphate deposits, metamorphic deposits, biogenic deposits, and weathered deposits. Sedimentary and marinedeposits are the largest source for phosphate rock across the globe.
The market can also be segmented on the basis of its end applications such as fertilizers, feed and food additives, industrial chemicalsand others. Based on applications, fertilizers is the largest segment in the global phosphate rock (PR) market due to its huge demand in the developing nations of Asia Pacific and Latin America.The fertilizer segment can be further sub-segmented into DAP (Di-ammonium Phosphate), MAP (Mono-ammonium Phosphate), and TSP (Triple superphosphate).
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The global phosphate rock market is expected to grow significantly in future primarily due to the growing world population and associated food demand which is increasing the demand for phosphate fertilizers. Phosphate fertilizers are needed for optimum crop production. By 2050, the global population is expected to reach 9.6 billion which will put pressure on farmers to produce more to feed this large population. Another major driver for the growth of the phosphate rock market is rise in per capita income in developing countries which will impact the dietary habits i.e. shift from mostly vegetarian diet to a diet with a higher volume of meat and dairy products. This in turn will increase demand for crops.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization’s estimates, food production has to increase by 70% by 2050 in order to feed such a large number of people. This required growth in crop production will require additional land for cultivation along with intensification of agriculture, both of which will lead to increased demand for phosphate fertilizers. However, factors such as increasing awareness regarding use of bio-based eco-friendly fertilizers is expected to hamper the growth of the global phosphate rock market.
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Phosphate rock reserves are majorly located in Morocco and Western Sahara. Together they constitute more than half of the total global reserve. Other major regions holding phosphate rock reserves are China, Russia, Algeria, Syria, Jordan, the U.S., Middle East, and South Africa. Developing countries such as India, China, Brazil, and South Africa are the major consumers for phosphate rock primarily in the form of phosphoric fertilizer. In developed countries of North America and Europe, there is low demand for phosphoric fertilizersdue to efficient use of fertilizers and buildup of phosphate in the soil.
The global phosphate rock market is highly fragmented as none of the players hold a significant market share. The key players operating in the global phosphate market includePotash Corp, MBAC Fertilizer Corp, Grange Resources, Phosphate Resources Limited, The Mosaic Company, WENGFU Group, Vale, AgriumInc, Anglo American, Shaw River Manganese Ltd, and Sterling Group Ventures Inc.