The global market for specialty fertilizers was estimated at USD 14.9 billion in 2016 and is expected to register a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period (2018 – 2023). Water-soluble fertilizers are considered the fastest growing segment, while slow and controlled release fertilizers constitute a major portion of the market. North America is the largest market by revenue, followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe. Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market due to a growing prevalence of crop diseases, increasing population, rising health and environmental concerns, growing focus of market players, and increasing government initiatives.
With a decline in arable land per-person and population expansion, crop-yields need to be increased to meet the food production requirements, thus, driving the demand for specialty fertilizers. Technology is also expected to continue playing a major role in this progress. The use of specialty fertilizers helps in reducing the usage of nitrogen by 15-20% and it increases the yield by 10-15%. Specialty fertilizers help in reducing the possible loss of nutrients and help in the uptake of nutrients by gradual nutrient release, therefore, they are being increasingly adopted.
The North American region accounts for the largest market share of the global specialty fertilizers market, with the US being its fastest-growing market in the region. From the beginning, specialty fertilizers’ high cost with respect to other nitrogenous fertilizers has restricted their utilization in large-scale production of commodity crops, such as corn, sorghum, wheat, and canola. However, they are commonly used in specialty, high-value crops, such as vegetables, orchards, nurseries, seed production, etc. Today, their use is limited but is increasing in row crops, primarily due to higher grain prices, environmental concerns, and regulations. Many players in the US are well-established and are the market leaders in specialty fertilizers. Major companies, such as Agrium Inc. and the Scotts Company, are considered the primary producers of specialty fertilizers in North America.
Major Players: Yara International, Agrium Inc., Mosaic Company, ICL Fertilizers, Israel Chemical Limited, and Honeywell, among others.
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