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Publication > Issue > Articles

Citrus fruits: a lucrative segment

Summary

A combination of factors makes citrus fruit an attractive market for fertilizer suppliers, particularly the high K and N requirement of this widely-cultivated cash crop and the efficacy of fertigation and foliar products. We examine the nutrient needs of citrus trees and how balanced application of fertilizers helps maximise citrus fruit quality and yield.

Abstract

Citrus fruits are a major cash crop, worth $3.4 billion in the US alone, and around 7.4 million hectares (18.4 million acres) of land is devoted to their cultivation globally (Figure 1). World production has undergone a major expansion and almost doubled over the last 30 years, increasing from around 58 million t/a in the 1980s to more than 110 million t/a at the start of the current decade1. Oranges remain the most popular type of citrus fruit, accounting for almost six tenths of world citrus production, and are widely grown in Brazil, China, the US, Mexico and the Mediterranean. China is the leading global grower of grapefruit and easy-to-peel citrus varieties, such as tangerines, mandarins, clementines and satsumas, and has an impressive third share of the world citrus market. Over half of the world’s lemon and limes currently come from Mexico and the Mediterranean countries of the EU (Figure 2). Keywords: Citrus; Oranges; Grapefruit; Clementines; Mandarins; Satsumas; Limes; Lemons; Pomelos; Fertilizer recommendations; Fertilisation; Fertigation; Foliar; Micronutrients; Macronutrients; ICL; Tessenderlo; Haifa; Yara; SQM; Brazil; China; Mediterranean; Mexico; United States

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Ammonium sulphate heads from east to west

Summary

Since 2010, the global balance of ammonium sulphate production has shifted inexorably eastwards to China away from legacy producers in Europe, the US and the former Soviet Union. Large ammonium sulphate export volumes from China, a by-product of massive investment in caprolactam capacity, are reversing established trade flows. Despite this market shake up, the premium pricing of high-grade products continues to make ammonium sulphate supply an attractive proposition in some regions.

Abstract

Ammonium sulphate (AS) fertilizer is a relatively low-volume, niche segment of the global nitrogen market. Its manufacture, around five million tonnes on a nitrogen basis, represents less than 4% of global nitrogen production. Such global statistics can be deceptive, however, as they underestimate the regional importance of ammonium sulphate as a relatively cheap source of nitrogen in North American, South American and South East Asian markets. In countries such as Mexico, for example, ammonium sulphate accounts for a fifth of nitrogen fertilizer consumption. Keywords: Ammonium sulphate; AS; Involuntary production; Synthetic production; Caprolactam; CPL; Premiums; Standard grade; Crystals; Honeywell; Rentech Nitrogen; EuroChem; CF Industries; BASF; OCI; Lanxess; DSM; KuibyshevAzot; Trammo; PhosAgro; Sinopec; China; United States; Mexico; Belgium; Netherlands; Japan; South Korea; Brazil

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Finishing with emissions

Summary

Uhde Fertilizer Technology, Stamicarbon, PROZAP and MECS have all introduced refinements to the scrubbing of dust and gas emissions from nitrogen plants in recent years. Some notable examples of the latest and most effective emissions reduction technologies are described.

Abstract

The main environmental pollutants generated by modern urea plants are the dust and ammonia emissions from finishing sections, where the urea melt is solidified, typically by granulation or prilling, to obtain the final product. The dust present in off-gases from urea granulation plants originates from a number of sources. The crushing of oversize granules, the evaporation/sublimation of urea melt, granule attrition and atomiser spray losses can all generate dust, for example1. Ammonia dissolved in the granulator’s urea melt feed can also end up in exhaust gases. The synthesis section may leave trace amounts of ammonia in urea melt, and NH3 can also arise from the hydrolysis of urea or as a result of biuret formation. Keywords: Nitrogen; Urea; UAN; Ammonium Nitrate; Prilling; Granulation; Finishing; Dust; Off-gas; Off-gases; Ammonia; Emissions; Scrubbing; Abatement; Particulate matter; PM; Plume; UFT; Uhde Fertilizer; Technology; Stamicarbon; Kimre; PROZAP; MECS; World Bank; Environmental Protection Agency; EPA

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Asia's most resilient producer

Summary

Pakistan's fertilizer sector has emerged from a successful large-scale privatisation process as a modern, nine million tonne capacity industry serving a strategically-important agricultural sector. The country has also reacted to strong domestic fertilizer demand by making major investments in new and revamped plant capacity. We report on fertilizer production in Pakistan and its resilience in the face of periodic natural gas stoppages and curtailments.

Abstract

Agriculture remains a key pillar of Pakistan’s economy, growing by 2-3% in each the last two years, contributing a fifth to national GDP and employing 43% of the country’s workforce. Importantly, agriculture is also a large source of foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan, and underpins the cotton textiles sector, which grew by 7% last year and is the country’s largest industry. In terms of major crops, Pakistan produced 14 million bales of cotton, 63 million tonnes of sugarcane, 25 million tonnes of wheat, 7.0 million tonnes of rice and 4.7 million tonnes of maize last year. Keywords: Pakistan; Fertilizer industry; Domestic; Imports; Urea; Diammonium phosphate; Calcium ammonium nitrate; Single super phosphate; DAP; CAN; NPK; NP; SSP; Fauji Fertilizer Co Ltd; Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Ltd; Fatima Fertilizer Co Ltd; Engro Fertilizers Ltd; Agritech Ltd; Suraj Fertilizer Industries Ltd; FFC; FFBL; EFERT; HFC; Natural gas; Curtailment

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The Growth for Uganda project

Summary

K+S KALI GmbH has been providing thousands of Uganda's farmers with fertilisation training as part of a joint project with the Sasakawa Africa Association. The project is part of wider attempts to improve agricultural productivity and food security in the region. K+S KALI report on the project's achievements to date.

Abstract

Boosting farm incomes by helping rural smallholders become more agriculturally productive and self-sufficient is the main aim of Growth for Uganda, an ambitious project led by major European fertilizer producer K+S KALI GmbH and the Swiss-headquartered NGO the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA). The project is setting up an advice network for Uganda’s farmers offering help and information on appropriate fertilisation. As well as providing much-needed educational outreach for farmers, the project has an important research objective as well. It wants to promote the use of soil analysis for site-specific fertilisation recommendations. Keywords: K+S KALI; International development; Food security; Soil fertility; Nutrient mining; Sasakawa Africa Association; SAA; Africa; Uganda; Fertilizers; Application rates; Farming; Outreach

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Massive FSU investments, falling costs

Summary

Three of the four large-scale greenfield potash projects likely to enter production globally in the next four to five years are located in the FSU. EuroChem's two Usolskiy and VolgaKaliy mining ventures and Belaruskali's Petrikov development form part of a potash capacity investment programme across the region running into tens of billions of dollars. We review the FSU potash investments of both incumbent majors and ambitious new market entrants.

Abstract

The countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) are endowed with great potash wealth. As recently as 2013, FSU potash mining was described as one of several industries where Russia and her neighbours earn money by digging cash out the ground. The change in commodity market conditions over the last two years may make this a boastful overstatement. But Russia’s vast potash resources, both developed and undeveloped, still underpin its status as the second largest potash producer globally. Not to be outdone, neighbouring Belarus also benefits from ownership of the third largest potash resource in the world. Yet another sizeable potash deposit, found in parts of southern Uzbekistan and eastern Turkmenistan in Central Asia, adds to regional abundance. Keywords: Former Soviet Union; FSU; EuroChem; Uralkali; Acron; Belaruskali; Slavkali; Uzkimyosanoat; Turkmenhimiya; Usolskiy; VolgaKaliy; Solikamsk; Ust-Yayvinsky; Polovodovsky; Berezniki; Petrikov; Soligorsk Krasnoslobodsky; Berezovsky; Greenfield; Brownfield; Investment; Capacity; Production costs; Potash; Muriate of potash; Sulphate of potash; MOP; SOP; KCl

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Phosphorus recovery finally breaks through

Summary

The installation of a struvite harvesting system at the world's largest wastewater treatment plant in Chicago, Illinois, demonstrates the increasing economic viability of phosphorus recovery. The commercial deployment of struvite crystallisation technology is now gathering pace internationally, although a number of other P recovery technologies, currently at the demonstration plant stage, are also poised to take off.

Abstract

Of all the economic and environmental concerns about phosphorus production and consumption globally, the need to address life cycle wastage and losses is possibly the most pressing and compelling. The global resource efficiency for P from farm to fork is just 20% and, consequently, only 45 million tonnes of the 225 million tonnes of phosphate rock mined globally ends up in the form of food, according to recent estimates. Reducing life cycle losses is particularly critical if phosphate resource efficiency is to be improved and nutrient management shifted onto a more sustainable footing. Although the IFDC’s 2010 phosphate resources assessment found no evidence of ‘peak’ phosphorus, it still recommended that economic phosphorus recovery should be maximised1. Keywords: Phosphorus; Phosphate; Nutrient; Recovery; Recycling; Struvite; Wastewater; Waste water; Treatment; WWTP; STW; Sewage; Liquor; Sludge; Ash; Outotec; Veolia; Ostara; cnp Technology; Paques; PHOSPAQ; AirPrex; Pearl; Crystal Green; NuReSys; AshDec; LeachPhos; Mephrec; Gifhorn

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