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June 29 2022 4:25 PM ˚
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Emerging opportunities in the fertilizer market

Hamzeh S. Al-Alayani
Hamzeh S. Al-Alayani is a board member of a Jordanian public-sector government investment management company since 2019. He is currently the Business Development Director at Edgo, he worked with Petrofac, an international EPC company in various positions and countries in the Middle East, North Africa & UK region. (Photo: Jordan News)
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The ongoing supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change-related events, and the ensuing widespread sanctions levied on Russia due to the conflict with Ukraine have resulted in significant worldwide shortages of a range of critical fertilizers. Therefore, the coming 10 to 20 years will be vital for transitioning to a global food system that manages agricultural mineral nutrients holistically. اضافة اعلان

Fertilizers are needed to boost crop production to keep people fed and healthy. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, or NPK, are the “Big 3” primary nutrients in commercial fertilizers. Each of these fundamental nutrients plays a crucial role in plant nutrition.

The total global production of fertilizers is worth some $185 billion. Strong demand and higher input costs had already driven fertilizer prices up in 2021. The Ukraine conflict disrupted supplies and further raised the prices of fertilizers.

Russia, a leading exporter, has a 12.6 percent share, and 15 percent after including raw materials. Russia is also the leading exporter of fertilizer raw materials: 23 percent of ammonia exports, 14 percent of urea exports, 10 percent of processed phosphate exports, and 21 percent of potash exports. Belarus is the second-largest exporter of potash, with a 20 percent share, according to data from The Fertilizer Institute.

The global fertilizer market is expected to grow exponentially over the next five to seven years and generate revenue above $323 billion by 2028. This data provides deep insight into the industrial market’s current and future opportunities across various fertilizers products (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), applications (fertilizer, animal feed, fungicides, cosmetics, food preservatives, others), and geography markets (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, Middle East, and Africa).

The Big 3 fertilizer components are available in Jordan and operate within an oligopolistic market. A few large companies dominate the market due to barriers to entry, granting a great deal of pricing power and a sustainable competitive advantage.

Jordan Phosphate Mines Company and Arab Potash Company, with a strong foundation and a positive outlook toward creating additional value, are perfectly positioned to ride this tailwind of increased demand into future success and capitalize on the growing demand for fertilizer products.

Their efficacy in fulfilling such needs is evident in their stock and financial performance. The companies have not only carefully managed capital expenditures to ensure the necessary infrastructure to maintain pace with increasing demand, they have also established economies of scale, primarily through their network of flexible, low-cost mines.
The fertilizer sector is vital to the Kingdom, and has the great potential to become Jordan’s most significant source of income. …
Jordan needs to produce nitrogen-based fertilizers (by mixing nitrogen from the air with hydrogen from natural gas), which is commercially available at the National Petroleum Company at Risha field, northeast of Jordan. Nitrogen/ammonia production will be part of the efforts made in the potash and phosphate sectors, and to develop a deep association for improved technologies, logistics, and application in downstream fertilizers to produce NPK products.

These plants would be powered by very cheap natural gas to be more competitive in the production of other fertilizers, like MAP, DAP, and potassium chloride. In addition, Jordan can produce ammonia through the green hydrogen project, which is under development by Fortescue Future Industries, located in Aqaba.

The fertilizer sector is vital to the Kingdom, and has the great potential to become Jordan’s most significant source of income, and help it reduce the import of fertilizers. The sector will create more jobs on a massive scale, increase inflow of foreign currency, and accelerate economic growth.

Fertilizers are an invaluable input for the agricultural sector; they guarantee farm productivity and help attract more entrepreneurs into the agribusiness, add value to farming, and make the nation self-sufficient in food production.


The writer is a board member of a Jordanian public-sector government investment management company since 2019. He is currently the Business Development Director at Edgo, he worked with Petrofac, an international EPC company in various positions and countries in the Middle East, North Africa & UK region. Alayani holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering (2006) and an MBA from the University of Aberdeen, UK (2021).


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