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Publication > Issue > Articles

Fertilizer industry financial scorecard

Summary

Exactly how profitable was the fertilizer industry last year and who were the main financial winners and losers? The tough prevailing market conditions undoubtedly made 2016 a testing year for the sector's major players. We analyse the relative performance of leading fertilizer producers, following the publication of 2016 company results.

Abstract

A clearer picture of 2016 fertilizer sector finances has emerged following the reporting of fourth quarter and full-year results. The major listed fertilizer companies disclose information on revenues, earnings, operating profits, margins and dividends each spring. Comparing and contrasting these results provides some useful insights into how the global fertilizer industry performed in 2016, and its reaction to the year’s challenges. Keywords: Company results, Financial results, Fertilizer industry, Fertilizer producers, Fertilizer majors, 2016 results, Earnings, EBITDA, Revenue, Operating profit, Share price, Margins, Debt, Net debt, Dividend yield, Payout ratio, Capital expenditure, Investment, Scotia Capital, Scotiabank, Hannam & Partners, PhosAgro, EuroChem, Uralkali, CF Industries, K+S, PotashCorp, Agrium, SQM, Mosaic, ICL

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Advances in sulphuric acid plant design

Summary

Innovative technologies from MECS, Outotec, Noram, Chemetics and Shell are helping transform the economics of sulphuric acid production and reduce emissions. New sulphuric acid plant designs are combining novel technologies in new process line-ups.

Abstract

Gradually, year-by-year, incremental advances in technology are steadily improving the performance of sulphuric acid plants. Better catalysts are helping to cut emissions, for example. Developments in heat recovery technology are also improving plant energy efficiency. But small, incremental improvements are unlikely to satisfy an industry that is increasingly seeking a step-change in plant costs, energy use and environmental protection. Keywords: Sulphuric acid, Sulphuric acid technology, Innovation, Process line-ups, Cost savings, Efficiency, Emissions, Scrubbing, Catalytic oxidation, SO3 absorption, Converter, MECS, Maxene, HRS, SolvR, Outotec, LUREC, HEROS, Noram, TurboScrubber, Chemetics, BAYQIK, Shell, Cansolv

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Unlocking the fertilizer market

Summary

Improving the supply, trade and distribution of fertilizers holds the key to unlocking Sub-Saharan Africa's massive agricultural potential. Increasing fertilizer availability and affordability in the region will require stronger supply and distribution channels, access to finance and trade policy reforms – coupled to improvements in agricultural extension services to help boost demand.

Abstract

It is hard to overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa. The sector holds the key to the continent’s economic prosperity, the livelihoods of its people and its food security. Agriculture currently accounts for about 20% of Africa’s GDP, 60% of the continent’s jobs and 20% of its exports in goods. The sector is also main source of income for 90% of Africa’s rural population. In Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture covering a 215 million hectare area contributes roughly $400 billion to regional GDP. Keywords: Africa fertilizer report, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Fertilizer market, Fertilizer supply, Fertilizer demand, Applications rates, Agriculture, Extension services, Distribution, Supply, Production, Phosphates, Phosphate rock, Potash, Nitrogen, Urea, Monoammonium phosphate, MAP, Diammonium phosphate, DAP, South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia Malawi, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Togo, International Fertilizer Association, IFA, International Fertilizer Development Center, IFDC, Alliance for Commodity Trade in East and Southern Africa, ACTESA, African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership, AFAP, International Plant Nutrition Institute, IPNI, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Yara Cote d’Ivoire, Yara Ghana, Omnia, Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, TPDC, Dangote Group, Brass Fertilizer, Riaba Fertilizers, Notore Chemicals Industries, Indorama, OCP, Avenira, Foskor, Kropz, Industries Chimiques du Senegal, ICS, Société Nouvelle des Phosphates du Togo, SNPT, Sable Chemicals Limited, Minjingu Mines and Fertilizer Limited, Toguna Agro Industries, Indorama

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Local production of affordable fertilizers in Africa

Summary

Current fertilizer applications rates in Africa, around 15 kg/ha, fall short of the 50 kg/ha goal set in the 2006 Abuja Declaration. Improving the supply of nitrogen fertilizers to Africa's heartland offers one way of getting within reach of this goal. Stamicarbon's Joey Dobrée and Tom Tiethof describe two viable production solutions for Africa: large-scale coastal urea plants and smaller-scale local production units.

Abstract

This article discusses how the affordability and accessibility of fertilizers in the heartland of Africa can be improved, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Organisations such as the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) are helping develop the African fertilizer market, and are opening up the region to international investment in supply chain and storage infrastructure. This has sparked the interest of the major fertilizer companies – as demonstrated by the number of new sales offices that have opened over the continent in the last twelve months. This is evidence of a rapidly intensifying battle for market share in Africa. Keywords: African nitrogen production, Stamicarbon, LAUNCH MELT, LAUNCH MELT Compact, Port Harcourt, Availability, Affordability, Supply, Production, Large scale, Small scale, Imports, Transport, Distribution, Logistics, Fertilizers, Speciality fertilizers, Nitrogen, Urea, Feedstock, Natural gas, Associated gas, Flare gas, Cost curve

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Phosphates 2017 conference review

Summary

More than 400 delegates from 36 countries gathered at the Marriott Tampa Waterside Hotel, Tampa, Florida, 13-15 March, for CRU's Phosphates 2017 conference.

Abstract

We report on the keynote, regional market, trade dynamics and other plenary presentations at CRU’s 10th Phosphates International Conference and Exhibition held in Tampa in March. The 2017 price rally The recent sharp recovery in finished phosphates prices – and whether this would be sustained – was a major talking point throughout the three-day conference. Spot prices increased from around $325/t at the end of last year to $375-400/t by mid-March, based on NOLA diammonium phosphate (DAP) and Brazil monoammonium phosphate (MAP) benchmarks. Keywords: Phosphates, Market outlook, Supply, Demand, China, United States, Eurasia, CIS, India, Brazil, Russia, Monoammonium phosphate, MAP, Diammonium phosphate, DAP, Phosphate rock, Feed phosphates, Food phosphates, Elemental phosphorus, P4, CRU, Mosaic, Scotia Capital, PhosAgro, Ma’aden, OCP, African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership, AFAP, CoBank

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Phosphogypsum: co-product not waste?

Summary

As it expands globally, phosphate fertilizer manufacturing is generating ever larger volumes of phosphogypsum waste. Billions of tonnes of this material is currently being managed at great cost within giant waste stacks. Yet, outside of North America, phosphogypsum is finding increasing use as a co-product in agricultural, building and construction applications. We examine whether the unwanted solid waste generated by the phosphates industry is on the verge of becoming a valued resource.

Abstract

Paradoxically, the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers is both highly efficient and wasteful. Modern process technology is very effective at capturing the phosphorus locked within mined ore. Yet production also generates large volumes of waste material. The conventional manufacturing route for phosphate fertilizers involves treating phosphate rock with sulphuric acid to make phosphoric acid. This intermediate is then used to produce a range of finished fertilizers such as diammonium phosphate (DAP), monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and triple superphosphate (TSP). But reacting rock with sulphuric acid also generates a gypsum-rich waste known as phosphogypsum. Keywords: Waste reduction, Phosphogypsum, Gypsum, Phosphogypsum stacks, United States, China, Indonesia, France, Belgium, Spain, International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute, FIPR, International Fertilizer Association, IFA, Phosphogypsum Working Group, PGWG, Waste, Co-product, Applications, Radioactivity, Regulation, Merseburg process, Building material, Cement, Plasterboard, Roads, Road building, Marine, Land reclamation, Soil conditioner, Soil amendment, Sulphate, Fertilizer

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Phosphate rock quality and granulation

Summary

Phosphate rock quality has a significant influence on fertilizer granulation. Curtis Griffin of PegasusTSI explains how variations in the quality of phosphate ore from the US, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Peru affect the granulation process.

Abstract

Phosphate rock quality Most of the world’s mined phosphate rock is beneficiated and reacted with sulphuric acid to produce wet-process phosphoric acid. The phosphoric acid generated is largely consumed in the manufacture of granular fertilizers. The quality of phosphate rock has a significant impact on the granulation process. Quality is determined by both the ore grade (% P2O5) and the levels and types of impurities present in phosphate rock. Keywords: PegasusTSI, Phosphate granulation, Phosphates, Phosphoric acid, Phosphate rock, Quality, Grade, Purity, Impurities, Granulation, Over-formulation, Minor element ratio, MER, Monoammonium phosphate, MAP, Diammonium phosphate, DAP, United States, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Peru

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SOP project prospects

Summary

An increase in the supply of primary SOP could potentially transform the market for this premium potash fertilizer. We provide a round-up of the most promising greenfield SOP mining projects worldwide.

Abstract

Sulphate of potash (SOP, K2SO4) commands a premium price due to its value as a chloride-free source of potassium for lucrative cash crops such as tobacco, tree nuts and citrus fruits. The market for SOP, around 6.1 million tonnes in 2015, is forecast to grow by more than one-fifth to 7.5 million tonnes by 2020 (Fertilizer International 475, p49). SOP prices have appreciated by around 10% in recent years, while prices for muriate of potash (MOP, KCl) declined by over two-fifths between mid-2014 and mid-2016. Keywords: Potash projects, SOP projects, Mine, Greenfield, Junior miners, Mining junior, Sulphate of Potash, SOP, Primary SOP, Brines, Glauconite, Greensand, ThermoPotash, Polyhalite, United States, Utah, Ethiopia, Eritrea, India, Australia, Brazil, Danakali, Circum Minerals, Yara, ICL, Intercontinental Potash Corp, ICPotash, Salmueras Sudamericanas, SalSud, Verde Potash, Verde AgriTech, Potash Ridge, Crystal Peak Minerals, Reward Minerals, Parkway Minerals, Kalium, Kalium Mineração, Archean Chemical Industries, Verdant Minerals, Rum Jungle

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