The South African Fertiliser and Nitrogen Compounds Industry
This report focuses on the manufacture, wholesale and retail of fertilisers and nitrogen compounds. According to the World Bank, the global population will reach 9 billion by 2050. The resultant higher food consumption will necessitate a 70% increase in agricultural productivity, and the use of fertilisers will be essential if this need is to be met. As most of the fertilisers on the market today were developed more than 50 years ago, investment into research and development is vital to create relevant, more effective and more environmentally friendly products for the marketplace, to improve operational processes and to stay ahead of the competition.
Pressure on the Manufacturing Sector
South Africa is a net importer of fertilisers and local manufacturers have to compete with cheaper imported products that originate from the Middle East and increasingly from China. South Africa’s fertiliser imports increased 31.1% to 1.89 million tons in 2014 while total fertiliser exports, mainly to countries in sub-Saharan Africa, reached 676,215 tons. The main reason for such high volumes of imports, according to the Fertiliser Association of Southern Africa (FERTASA) is the absence of urea production facilities and sources of potassium in the country. These have to be imported, contributing to the trade deficit of 1.21 million tons.
The South African Fertiliser and Nitrogen Compounds Industry focuses on the current state of the domestic industry where retail prices have been distorted by a fertiliser cartel and Sasol’s abuse of dominance over the years, and factors influencing the success of the sector. The report profiles 41 manufacturers and/or wholesalers of organic and inorganic fertiliser, including local giants, Foskor, Sasol and Omnia. Also profiled are smaller companies such as Bosveld Phosphates (Pty) Ltd which manufactures, blends and wholesales NPK fertilisers, and Chemtura (Pty) Ltd which imports agricultural chemicals from Europe and supplies distributors and seed companies.