DOHA: The fertiliser industry in the Gulf region is growing twice as fast as the global industry average led by the increased investments from petrochemical producers, says the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).
According to GPCA estimates, GCC’s fertiliser production capacity reached 42.7 million tonnes in 2013, a 4 percent increase from the previous year, while the global fertiliser industry grew by just 1.7 percent in the same period. Capacity growth was achieved with several multimillion dollar projects in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates coming on-stream.
“In 2013, GCC producers exported 20 million tonnes of fertiliser products to more than 80 countries worldwide,” said Khalifa Al Sowaidi, Chairman of the GPCA’s Fertiliser Committee and Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO). “The GCC industry accounted for approximately one-quarter of global urea trade and for 12 percent of the global ammonia trade volume in 2013. With double digit capacity growth over the last five years, the GCC industry has demonstrated its potential to be a major global player.”
With the world population projected to reach over 9.3 billion people by 2050, the International Fertiliser Industry Association (IFA) predicts that world food production has to increase by 60 percent to feed the world’s future generations. “The growth in population and the need to accelerate food production represents a major opportunity for the GCC’s fertiliser producers,” explained Al- Sowaidi. “As an export oriented market that exports more than 90 percent of its nitrogen fertilisers (ammonia and urea) to the Far East, the GCC fertiliser industry can make a major global contribution to addressing food security challenges by providing access to and efficient use of inputs and resources.”
While analysts have predicted of a slowdown in growth due to the availability of cheaper feedstock elsewhere, particularly due to the shale gas revolution, the GPCA forecasts that region’s fertiliser capacity will continue to grow at a steady pace.
“Several multibillion dollar projects will be completed in the next years, which will strengthen the GCC’s fertiliser capacity to over 66 million tons by 2018,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA. “In addition, the industry will further diversify its products portfolio to ensure its long-term competitiveness and profitability.”
To support the region’s fertiliser industry, the GPCA will host its fifth annual Fertiliser Convention from September 16-18, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Discussions will focus on how fertilisers contribute to global food security.
Co- organised with CRU, the independent consultancy group specialising in fertilisers, the conference will provide delegates with an in-depth supply and demand analysis from major markets around the globe.