China, India and the United States were the largest consumers of nitrogenous fertilizers worldwide in 2021, according to estimates by the Fertecon consultancy.
After China, which had a 22% share of world nitrogen fertilizer consumption, came India (15%) and the United States (12%).
Notably, the United States is the world’s largest exporter of coarse grains, accounting for 29% of world exports and 27% of world production for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021, according to the USDA.
Hence a substantial amount of nitrogen is consumed in the production of these crops to increase yield.
Also according to Fertecon estimates for 2021, the United States is the world’s largest importer of nitrogenous fertilizers.
According to CVR Partners, North American nitrogenous fertilizer producers predominantly use natural gas as their primary feedstock.
Over the past five years, US oil and natural gas reserves have increased significantly due to, among other factors, advances in shale oil and gas extraction, as well as relatively high oil and gas prices. gas.
More recently, natural gas prices in Europe and Asia have increased significantly since 2020 due to reduced production volumes and higher global demand, as economies began to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the increase in the prices of natural gas as a raw material has caused multiple closures of fertilizer plants, and certain European countries have reduced the industrial use of natural gas, which has resulted in a deterioration of the economy for fertilizer production in the region.
In addition, China and Russia have restricted fertilizer exports to ensure domestic availability.
In North America, natural gas prices also rose throughout 2021, but higher nitrogen fertilizer prices more than offset rising natural gas costs.
As a result of all this, CVR Partners believes that North America continues to be the low-cost region for the production of nitrogenous fertilizers.