The urea market size was estimated at over 183,000-kilo tons in 2021, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of less than 2% during the forecast period (2022-2027).
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation, several countries were forced to go into lockdown, which led people to minimize the usage of personal vehicles, along with that automotive manufacturing plants were on a temporary halt, thus leading to a decline in the consumption of urea-based catalysts. According to OICA, global automotive production has witnessed a growth rate of 3% in 2021, which is expected to drive the demand in the urea market.
Key Highlights Over the short term, increasing demand for urea as fertilizer from the agriculture industry is expected to drive market growth.
The health hazards regarding urea are likely to hinder the market growth.
The discovery of applications for urea in the preparation of bio-bricks is likely to create opportunities for the market in the coming years.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market and is also likely to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Technical Grade is Likely to Witness the Highest Growth Rate
Technical grade urea is used in many applications, such as glue, medical drugs, dyes, disinfectants, cosmetics, and in the production of yeast. The nitrogen content in the technical grade urea is a minimum of 46% by weight (on a dry basis).
The technical grade urea is also used in urea-formaldehyde resins, adhesives, plywood, animal feed, and cloud seeding agents.
Additionally, urea is also used as a base component in many creams, and with the growing demand for cosmetics, the demand for technical-grade urea is likely to increase.
Overall, the market for technical grade urea is expected to register the highest growth rate during the forecast period (2022-2027).
Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market
The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the highest market share, followed by North America.
With the increase in population, developments in the agriculture industries are taking place in countries like India and China. This results in an increase in the consumption of nitrogen fertilizers, thereby driving the market.
Apart from the agriculture industry, consumption is also increasing with the advancements in the chemical, automobile, and medical industries.
Chinese authorities are imposing new hurdles for fertilizer exporters among growing concerns over surging power prices and food production, a move that could worsen a global price shock and food inflation.
China is one of the largest producers of urea-formaldehyde resin in the world. The urea-formaldehyde resins are used in the construction industry as adhesives for the bonding of plywood, particleboard, and other wood products.
In the year 2021, retail sales of fertilizers in India have fallen 12.4% in April-July over the corresponding four months of last year. All major nutrients have posted lower sales, urea observed the highest decline of 12.8%.
The Region has observed a decline in automotive sales and production in 2020, though the sales and production statistics has improved slightly in 2021. Hence impacting the Urea market indirectly.
Due to all such factors, the market for urea in the region is expected to have a steady growth during the forecast period (2022-2027).
The global urea market is fragmented in nature where many players, holding small share in the global production capacity, have been operating in the industry. Some of the major players in the market include Industries Qatar, SABIC, OCI NV, Yara, and CF Industries Holdings Inc, among others.
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