According to the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), between 2011 and 2016, 40 new phosphorus production projects will be completed, 17 of which will be located in China. Other leading phosphorus producing countries are Morocco, Brazil, Jordan, Tunisia, Indonesia, Algeria and India. Production of phosphorus in 2016 is estimated at 49.8 million tons.

According to the National Association for the Promotion of Fertilizers (ANDA), by 2017, Brazil’s demand for phosphate fertilizers is projected to reach 5 million tons per year, of which domestic production accounts for only 3.6 million tons per year, depending on imports.

Phosphorus tends to react with other elements in the soil such as iron, aluminum, clay and organic matter, rendering it unavailable to plants for nutrient intake. This is a significant problem as phosphorus is one of the essential nutrients for plant development, responsible for vital processes such as storage, use of energy, root growth, improved grain quality and acceleration of fruit ripening.

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Source: Anglo American, 2013