1.1 Definition and presentation
Like all living things, plants have certain nutritional needs that must be met to ensure their proper development. Four distinct needs have been scientifically identified: potassium(K), nitrogen(N), oxygen(O) and phosphorus(P). Although oxygen is naturally present in the air, it is often necessary to ensure the supply of the other three elements to ensure regular and high yields.
Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are therefore the basis for chemical fertilizers, usually called "NPK fertilizers." These fertilizers are also called mineral fertilizers. Another category of fertilizers is natural or organic fertilizers (produced from plant or animal matter).
Fertilizers are used to fertilize the soil. The goal is to increase agricultural yields to meet the world's growing demand for food.
The global fertilizer market has been estimated at $155 billion in 2019. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate(CAGR) of 3.8 % and reach a value of $193 billion by 2025. Asia-Pacific is the largest geographic segment but also the driver of this market, with a 60 percent share. Global population growth, food security issues, and environmental concerns are expected to lead to sustained growth in this market.
In 2018, more than 2.5 million tons of fertilizers were sold in Italy, the most important of which are urea (27 %), nitrates (11.6 %) and organic fertilizers (10 %). However, the domestic market has been steadily declining (-5.7% from 2017 to 2018 and -6% from 2017 to 2016). There has been an average decline of 4% year-on-year since 2010. However, in terms of fertilizer families, nitrogen/nitrogen fertilizer sales are increasing.
In terms of geographical distribution, 65 percent of fertilizers are used in northern regions, 15 percent in the center of the peninsula, and 20 percent in the south and islands.
The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have had little impact on this market; in fact, it halted the historical negative trend. The first half of 2020 saw fertilizer consumption equal to the same period of the previous year, while the second half of 2020 saw a -0.2% drop in consumption. The increase in consumption was recorded for water-soluble fertilizers (+10.6 percent), simple mineral fertilizers (+2.3 percent) and organic nitrogen fertilizers (+11.2 percent). At the same time, liquid fertilizers recorded a moderate decrease in consumption (3.8%).
1.2 The world market is growing strongly
The value of the global organic fertilizer market stood at $*.* billion in ****, about $* billion more than in ****. The value of global organic fertilizers is expected to reach about $**.* billion by ****.
Market value of organic fertilizers worldwide World, ****-****, in billions of USD Source: ****
In addition to steadily growing global sales, fertilizers ...
1.3 The domestic fertilizer market
Fertilizers are a very important part of a country's agriculture; Italy is a producer and marketer of these products, in the country and around the world. For this reason there are two Ateco Codes to consider, as there are two important markets. These are:
Fertilizer trade: **.**.** Manufacture of fertilizers: **.**.**
Fertilizer Market ...
1.4 Fertilizer trade flows
In ****, Italian fertilizer imports exceeded the * billion euro mark for the first time, reaching USD *.* billion. Exports, on the other hand, are still far lower, with the value in **** being USD *** million.
The following graph shows the evolution of Italian trade and trade balance for the fertilizer market over the past ...
1.5 The influence of the Russo-Ukrainian War
The ongoing war (***) between the two countries, and which began in February ****, significantly affects the Italian fertilizer market. As seen in the previous part, *.*, regarding Italy's trade partners, the country is highly dependent on Russia and Ukraine. In addition, several European and global countries depend on exports from these two ...
2.1 Constant high demand
The Italian agricultural sector consumes the entirety of fertilizer production. For this reason, the Istat database has created a special entry called fertilizers on the site. By exploring the data contained there, one can find all types of fertilizers produced in Italy. In the chart below, only the most common and ...
2.2 The geographical concentration of demand
Fertilizer consumption in Italy is very high, as seen in the previous part, but it is not uniform throughout the country. The following map shows fertilizer consumption by macro region, dividing as follows:
North Center South and Islands
It can be immediately seen from the map that the Center is the ...
2.3 Arable surface area in Italy
To understand the fertilizer market well, one must also look at the cultivated areas in the country, as they directly affect and influence the market. Thus, the map below shows the areas in Italy that are cultivated in ****.
One can immediately see that the Islands are the two regions with the ...
3.1 Fertilizer companies in the country
As for the companies in the fertilizer market, we must continue to make the distinction between fertilizer traders and manufacturers. The total number of companies in the area dealing with the market is **** companies in ****. This number has varied slightly over the past * years, so it is a market that has ...
3.2 Those working in the field
Given the large number of companies in the fertilizer market, consequently there are also many people employed in the industry. On average, in **** there were more than **,*** employees in the fertilizer industry in total.
Number of employees in the fertilizer sector Italy, ****-****, in thousands Source: ****
The graph above shows the ...
3.3 "Contracting out" increasingly common among fertilizer companies
The term "subcontracting" in agricultural matters refers to the work carried out by agromechanical companies that use their own agricultural machines to work the land and fields of other companies. This practice is very widespread in agriculture in Italy because there are so many companies in this macro sector, and not ...
4.1 The different types of products
There are two main categories of fertilizers, chemical fertilizers and natural fertilizers.
Made from minerals that undergo a series of chemical transformations that allow for exact dosing of their composition, they are now the heart of the fertilizer market. They have certain advantages, such as almost immediate action on ...
4.2 Fertilizer producer prices in the domestic market
Fertilizers have experienced a huge increase in prices between the beginning of the year and now. As already analyzed in part *.* regarding the Russian-Ukrainian war, this increase in all fertilizers in all areas (***).
In the following part of the research, all prices charged in the Italian fertilizer market are analyzed.
4.3 Chemical-free fertilizers: new growing trend
Among the goals of the new green pact designed to revitalize Europe, in addition to halving the use of pesticides there is also a ** percent cut in the use of fertilizers in agriculture. Italy is already in the vanguard in this area: in fact, for several years now special fertilizers, called ...
5.1 European regulation
The regulations particularly affect the use and sale of mineral fertilizers because of their chemical dimension. In March ****, the European Union adopted the text of the future European regulation on placing chemical fertilizers on the market. This new text entered into force on June **, ****, and is part of European agriculture's desire ...
6.1 Segmentation of Italian actors
- Roullier (Holding du groupe)
- Algio S.p.A.
- Valagro S.p.A.
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