Global Ammonia Industry

Global Ammonia Industry

  • August 2021 •
  • 338 pages •
  • Report ID: 5817758 •
  • Format: PDF

Global Ammonia Market to Reach $89.6 Billion by 2026

Ammonia (NH3) is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen and is a colorless gas that has a strong overpowering odor. A colorless and pungent gas, ammonia comprises 82.25% nitrogen and 17.75% hydrogen, is used for direct application on the soil and in irrigation of water. Ammonia constitutes the basic raw material in chemical fertilizers, synthetic fibers, resins, and other products. Ammonia is used for oxidation to nitric acid utilized in the production of nitric phosphates and ammonium, calcium, sodium and potassium nitrates, and for the production of nitrogen solutions, ammonium sulfate, ammonium phosphates, urea, ammoniated super-phosphate fertilizers and liquid fertilizers. A characteristic feature of ammonia is its ability to combine directly with acids to form salts. Salts thus produced are known as the ammonium salts and include compounds such as ammonium nitrate (widely used in fertilizers and explosives), ammonium phosphate, ammonium carbonate etc. About 80% of ammonia produced worldwide is used in the production of mineral fertilizers, while the remaining is used for technical purposes.

Ammonia is widely used in the manufacture of nitrogen-based fertilizers that include, urea, ammonium nitrates, ammonium phosphates and ammonium sulphate. Globally, regions vary in terms of various fertilizers used, which again is dependent on local climates. This leads to a significant difference in product-mix for different regions. For instance, urea has wide usage in regions with warmer climate such as North America and Europe while ammonium nitrate is used only in Europe. Fertilizer is any natural or manufactured material added to the soil in order to supply one or more plant nutrients. The term is generally applicable to all manufactured materials other than lime and gypsum. Fertilizer, regarded as food for plants, contains nutrients needed to supplement the soil`s supply, which is often less than required to satisfy demands for optimum crop production. The most common fertilizer nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). These nutrients are needed in large amounts by crops and are often limited in soils. The composition of fertilizer varies depending on the crop for which it is used and the nutrient composition of the soil.

Apart from their use as fertilizers, derivates of ammonia have a number of other industrial uses. For instance, ammonia is being increasingly used as a refrigerant. Unlike many other gases ammonia does not result in depletion of ozone and global warming when out in the atmosphere. This characteristic of ammonia is aiding the return of the gas as a refrigerant. Ammonia is an efficient refrigerant used in food preservation and processing. Ammonia is also used in explosives and polymers. Industrial ammonia is also used as feedstock in carpet, textiles, animal feed, plastics, foams and building products sectors.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Ammonia estimated at US$63.7 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$89.6 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 5.9% over the analysis period. Liquid, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to grow at a 7.2% CAGR to reach US$49 Billion by the end of the analysis period. After a thorough analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the Gas segment is readjusted to a revised 5.1% CAGR for the next 7-year period. This segment currently accounts for a 32.7% share of the global Ammonia market.

The U.S. Market is Estimated at $9 Billion in 2021, While China is Forecast to Reach $24.2 Billion by 2026

The Ammonia market in the U.S. is estimated at US$9 Billion in the year 2021. The country currently accounts for a 13.73% share in the global market. China, the world second largest economy, is forecast to reach an estimated market size of US$24.2 Billion in the year 2026 trailing a CAGR of 7.7% through the analysis period. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 2.8% and 5.3% respectively over the analysis period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 3.3% CAGR while Rest of European market (as defined in the study) will reach US$26.2 Billion by the close of the analysis period.

Majority of the world`s ammonia requirement is produced from natural gas, with the sole exception of China, which uses coal gasification techniques for ammonia production. Prior to its application to the soil, ammonia is processed to get downstream fertilizer products such as urea, nitrogen solutions, ammonium nitrates, ammonium phosphates, and ammonium sulfates, which promote plant growth in farm crops. Consumption of ammonia is anticipated to grow slightly faster in industrial applications than in fertilizers through the forecast period. Ammonium nitrates produced from ammonia are used to produce explosives. Ammonia is also used to produce acrylonitrile for plastics and acrylic fibers, caprolactam for nylon 6, hexamethylenediamine for producing nylon 66, isocyanates for hydrazine and polyurethanes, and various nitriles and amines. Further, ammonia is used in the manufacture of pesticides, chemicals, dyes, coloring agents, textiles, household cleaning products, and pharmaceuticals. The product is used also as a nitrogen source, neutralizer, refrigerant gas, and stabilizer in various applications including wastewater treatment, cold storage, pulp & paper, rubber, and food & beverages sectors. Ammonia absorbs heat from the surroundings, filters impurities, and purifies the liquid mediums. Due to this property, ammonia is extensively used as a purifying agent in water treatment plants, and as a refrigerant in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Over the forecast period, natural gas is anticipated to increase its market share, while the shares of feedstocks including fuel oil and naphtha are forecast to witness a declining trend. Natural gas would be the preferred raw material in the newer ammonia plants. Ammonia plants are, however, expensive, with investment costs exceeding $1 billion. Building these plants could also take up to a period of three years. Despite its growth potential, the global ammonia market is being adversely impacted by the growing awareness of the harmful impacts of ammonia on health. Also, the volatility in natural gas prices and strict regulations associated with the use of ammonia are expected to hamper market growth. Furthermore, a decline in prices in recent years, due to the steady rise in capacity additions and decelerating demand, are also posing challenges to the market. The ammonia market is being hindered by the fact that exposure to high concentrations and inhalation of NH3 gas or vapors might lead to health issues. Besides its existence naturally, NH3 is also present in cleaning solutions, and hence people are likely to get exposed to the gas. Upon contact with the skin, eyes, oral cavity, and the respiratory tract, the gas interacts immediately and produces skin or eye irritation. Contact with NH3 in higher concentrations in industrial cleaners might also cause severe skin burns, corrosive injuries, and eye damage or permanent blindness. In addition, swallowing solutions with high concentrations of NH3 could lead to corrosive damage to the mouth, throat, and stomach.

Powder Segment to Reach $16.1 Billion by 2026

In the global Powder segment, USA, Canada, Japan, China and Europe will drive the 3.8% CAGR estimated for this segment. These regional markets accounting for a combined market size of US$8.1 Billion in the year 2020 will reach a projected size of US$10.5 Billion by the close of the analysis period. China will remain among the fastest growing in this cluster of regional markets. Led by countries such as Australia, India, and South Korea, the market in Asia-Pacific is forecast to reach US$2.2 Billion by the year 2026, while Latin America will expand at a 4.8% CAGR through the analysis period.

Select Competitors (Total 122 Featured)
  • CF Industries Holdings, Inc.
  • China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)
  • China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC)
  • Huaqiang Chemical Group Co., Ltd.
  • Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd.
  • Shanxi Jinfeng Coal Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.
  • Yara International ASA