Urea Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Urea Market is segmented by Grade (Fertilizer, Feed, and Technical), End-user Industry (Agriculture, Chemical, Automotive, Medical, and Other End-user Industries), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa).

Market Snapshot

Urea Market Overview
Study Period: 2016 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: >2 %
Urea Market Top Companies

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Market Overview

The urea market size was estimated at over 180 million ton in 2020, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of over 2% during the forecast period (2021-2026).

The market was negatively impacted by COVID-19 in 2020. The urea-based selective catalytic reduction (Urea SCR) technique is used to extract enough nitrogen oxide (NOx) from diesel engine exhaust stream in vehicles. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation, several countries were forced to go into lockdown, which led people to minimize the usage of personal vehicles, along with that automotive manufacturing plants were on a temporary halt, thus led to a decline in the consumption of urea-based catalysts. According to OICA, global automotive production has witnessed a decline of approximately 23% in Q3 of 2020 compared to Q3 of 2019, which, in turn, negatively impacted the demand in the urea market.

  • Over the short term, increasing demand for urea as fertilizer from the agriculture industry is expected to drive market growth. Urea is a valuable source of nitrogen, and due to the high content of nitrogen availability, it is mostly used in nitrogen-based fertilizers. It is also used in multi-component solid fertilizer foliar sprays in small amounts. When in contact with soil, urea is converted to ammonium bicarbonate. Urea is mixed with the soil to protect the gas formed from ammonium.
  • The health hazards regarding urea are likely to hinder market growth.
  • The discovery of applications for urea in the preparation of bio-bricks is likely to create opportunities for the market in the coming years.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market and is also likely to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

Urea is a nitrogenous compound containing two amine groups attached to a carbonyl group with molecular formula NH2CONH2. It is mainly used in the agricultural industry in prilled and granular forms with a nitrogen content of about 46%. Urea is manufactured by reacting ammonia and carbon dioxide. The urea market is segmented by grade, end-user industry, and geography. By grade, the market is segmented into fertilizer, feed, and technical. By end-user industry, the market is segmented into agriculture, chemical, automotive, medical, and other end-user industries. The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the urea market in 16 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of volume (kiloton).

End-user Industry
Other End-user Industries
South Korea
ASEAN Countries
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of the Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Technical Grade is Likely to Witness the Highest Growth Rate

  • Technical grade urea is used in many applications, such as glue, medical drugs, dyes, disinfectants, cosmetics, and in the production of yeast. The nitrogen content in the technical grade urea is a minimum of 46% by weight (on a dry basis).
  • Urea is mostly used in the selective catalytic reduction technology, which is operated to reduce emission levels. It is mixed with deionized water, at a concentration of 32.5%, to form AdBlue.
  • AdBlue is a reagent used for the SCR technology, which is fed into the exhaust and reacts with the nitrogen oxide gas produced by the combustion process, breaking it down into harmless nitrogen and oxygen.
  • With emission regulations by the governments on air pollution, automobile industries are concentrating on the reduction of emissions from the exhaust. This is, thereby, increasing the need to use reagents, such as AdBlue.
  • After a prolonged tenure of growth during the past decade, the momentum of the automotive sector has slowed down in recent years. Sales of new vehicles are going down in various parts of the world, including Europe and the United States, as business models and markets are changing, and so is the competitive landscape.
  • The automotive industry has seen a slowdown for a couple of years. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), the sales of automobiles declined in 2019 by around from 95.06 million units in 2018 to 91.29 million units in 2019, which in turn negatively impacted the market growth of urea.
  • Further, with the growing automotive fleet across the world, the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology is projected to increase, which, in turn, will increase the consumption of technical grade urea in the forecast period.
  • The technical grade urea is also used in urea-formaldehyde resins, adhesives, plywood, animal feed, and cloud seeding agents.
  • Additionally, urea is also used as a base component in many creams, and with the growing demand for cosmetics, the demand for technical-grade urea is likely to increase.
  • Overall, the market for technical grade urea is expected to register the highest growth rate during the forecast period.
Urea Market Share

Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market

  • The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the highest market share, followed by North America.
  • With the increase in population, developments in the agriculture industries are taking place in countries like India and China. This results in an increase in the consumption of nitrogen fertilizers, thereby driving the market.
  • Apart from the agriculture industry, consumption is also increasing with the advancements in the chemical, automobile, and medical industries.
  • In 2019, the annual volume sales of chemical fertilizers were accounted for 53.83 million ton in China, registering a growth rate of 1.89% compared to the previous year, which, in turn, stimulated the demand in the urea market.
  • China is the largest vehicle producer across the globe. As of Q3 2019, China had produced 18.17 million vehicles, and the value reached 16.96 million vehicles by Q3 2020, registering a decline rate of about 6.66%, which, in turn, has led to a decrease in the consumption of urea-based autocatalysts, thus, creating a negative effect on the growth of urea market in the country, in turn, affecting the regional market demand.
  • China is one of the largest producers of urea-formaldehyde resin in the world. The urea-formaldehyde resins are used in the construction industry as adhesives for the bonding of plywood, particleboard, and other wood products. The Chinese construction industry was valued at about USD 968 billion in the year 2019, and it is estimated to reach about USD 1,117 billion by 2021, with a CAGR of about 7%, thus, increasing the demand for urea-formaldehyde resins, which, in turn, is likely to stimulate the demand in the urea market.
  • In the year 2019, the sales of nitrogen-based chemical fertilizers in India was 17.63 million ton, with a growth rate of 3.95% compared to the previous year, which, in turn, has driven the market demand.
  • As of Q3 2019, India had produced 3.5 million vehicles, and the value reached 2.16 million vehicles by Q3 2020, registering a decline rate of about 38%, which, in turn, has led to a decrease in the consumption of urea-based autocatalysts, thus, creating a negative effect on the growth of urea market in the country, in turn, affecting the regional market demand.
  • The gross domestic product (GDP) from construction in India increased to USD 37.20 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 from USD 30.40 billion in the third quarter of 2020, with a growth rate of about 22%. Thus, this led to an increase in the consumption of the construction material made up of urea-formaldehyde resins, which, in turn, stimulates the demand in the market studied.
  • Due to all such factors, the market for urea in the region is expected to have a steady growth during the forecast period.
Urea Market Growth Rate By Region

Competitive Landscape

The market for urea is partially consolidated, as the market share is divided among a few major companies. Some of the major players in the market include SABIC, BASF SE, Nutrien Ltd., Yara, and China National Petroleum Corporation, among others.

Recent Developments

  • In July 2020, under the scheme AatmaNirbharBharat, the Indian government announced to commission four new urea plants before 2021. Additionally, one more plant is expected to commission by 2023, which will reduce the country's dependency on urea imports in the upcoming years.
  • In November 2018, SABIC signed an MoU with its subsidiary Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co. (SAFCO) to facilitate the integration and strengthen its fertilizer business, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Increasing Demand for Fertilizers in the Agriculture Industry

      2. 4.1.2 Stringent Environment Regulations for Automotive Emissions

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Health Hazards Regarding Urea

      2. 4.2.2 Unfavorable Conditions Arising Due to the Impact of COVID-19

      3. 4.2.3 Other Restraints

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition

    5. 4.5 Feedstock Analysis

    6. 4.6 Technological Snapshot

      1. 4.6.1 Production Process

      2. 4.6.2 Patent Analysis

    7. 4.7 Import-Export Trends

    8. 4.8 Regulatory Policy Analysis


    1. 5.1 Grade

      1. 5.1.1 Fertilizer

      2. 5.1.2 Feed

      3. 5.1.3 Technical

    2. 5.2 End-user Industry

      1. 5.2.1 Agriculture

      2. 5.2.2 Chemical

      3. 5.2.3 Automotive

      4. 5.2.4 Medical

      5. 5.2.5 Other End-user Industries

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. ASEAN Countries

        6. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.3.2 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      3. 5.3.3 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. France

        3. United Kingdom

        4. Italy

        5. Rest of the Europe

      4. 5.3.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Share Analysis**/Ranking Analysis

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Acron

      2. 6.4.2 BASF SE

      3. 6.4.3 CF Industries Holdings Inc.

      4. 6.4.4 China National Petroleum Corporation

      5. 6.4.5 EuroChem Group

      6. 6.4.6 Industries Qatar

      7. 6.4.7 Koch Fertilizer LLC

      8. 6.4.8 Notore Chemical Industries PLC

      9. 6.4.9 Nutrien Ltd

      10. 6.4.10 OCI NV

      11. 6.4.11 Petrobras

      12. 6.4.12 PT Pupuk Kaltim

      13. 6.4.13 SABIC

      14. 6.4.14 The Chemical Company

      15. 6.4.15 URALCHEM JSC

      16. 6.4.16 Yara

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Discovery of Urea Application in Manufacturing Bio-bricks

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Urea Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Urea Market is growing at a CAGR of >2% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2020.

SABIC, BASF SE, Nutrien Ltd, Yara, China National Petroleum Corporation are the major companies operating in Urea Market.

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