Phosphate rock market size is anticipated to register commendable growth between 2022 and 2028, mainly on account of increasing global population and an escalation in food production. The market expansion is further attributed to the surging usage of fertilizers in the process of crop production and shifting preferences from a whole vegetarian diet towards poultry and meat consumption.
As per estimates by the Earth magazine, more than 85% of the phosphate rock mined across the world is utilized in the production of phosphate fertilizers, due to which the fertilizer industry is a major revenue pocket for the market.
On the basis of deposits, the phosphate rock market is expected to record considerable gains from the igneous deposits segment through 2028. These rocks contain more than 50% carbonates and are typically mined in the countries of Canada, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Russia, and South Africa. While these ores are often low in grade, they possess the capability of being upgraded to high-grade products. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, around 17% of the global phosphate rock production is secured from igneous deposits.
Based on the type of application, the fertilizer segment is estimated to witness substantial growth through the estimated period. As per a FAO report, the fertilizer industry consumes almost 90% of the worldwide phosphate rock production given that the product is the primary raw material used in soluble fertilizer production. The product can be directly applied and is capable of solubilizing in the soil. This makes phosphorus readily available to crops depending on soil properties, type of rock, climatic conditions, and more. The direct application of these products can significantly contribute towards sustainable intensification of agriculture, particularly in economies with suitable phosphate rock resources and favorable agro-ecological conditions.
Considering the regional perspective, North America phosphate rock market is expected to record lucrative expansion by the end of 2028, primarily driven by increased animal feed production and rising phosphate rock uses in the United States. The country is slated to be one of the largest consumers of meat and meat products. According to statistics, the American consumption rate is more than 274 pounds of meat on an average per year. The regional phosphate rock market outlook is being influenced by the soaring demand for high-quality meat and nutritious animal feed products.
Major companies across the phosphate rock industry include Sterling Group Ventures, Phosphate Resources, Potash Corporation, Grange Resources, and others. These market players are implementing a range of marketing and expansion strategies including product launches, mergers, partnerships, acquisitions, and facility expansions for enhancing product reach and consolidating their position. Besides, these companies are also focusing on the adoption of various phosphate rock manufacturing processes for gaining a competitive edge in the industry.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the fertilizer industry, hampering product sales in the year 2020. The business landscape is further affected by temporary halts in various industries, workforce shortage across production units, and disruptions in the supply of raw materials. However, in some countries such as the U.S., regulators have launched initiatives that are set to the revive market landscape. For instance, as per a January 2021 report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Department of the Interior gave approval to the expansion of the largest phosphate rock mine situated in the state of Idaho. Such developments are expected to support business scenario in the coming years.