The specialty fertilizers market is projected to record a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2022–2027).
In addition to the serious implications for people’s health and healthcare services, COVID-19 seemed to have a significant impact on the global specialty fertilizers market. The impact of COVID-19 can be largely characterized by an unprecedented disruption in the functioning of both the market forces of demand and supply. Due to the reduced income, farmers, especially in the developing countries, may become price sensitive to use specialty fertilizer, which may discern the market’s growth in the coming years.
The drivers identified in the market are increasing global area under precision farming, increasing incidence of fertilizer leaching, need for improvement of fertilizer use efficiency, and favorable government policies. There has been increasing encouragement from various government agencies and other organizations to increase the use of specialty fertilizers to enhance plant and soil health. Moreover, the demand for controlled release fertilizers has witnessed a boost from the increasing number of golf courses across the world, which stood at 33,161 and 38,864 in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The segment witnessed significant demand and subsequent expansion in controlled-release fertilizers in recent years.
The high cost of the controlled release fertilizers and the slow pace of R&D toward specialty fertilizers are anticipated to act as deterrents to the growth of specialty fertilizers in the coming years.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Adoption of Precision Farming Technique
With the expanding global population and rising concerns over food security and environmental pollution, there has been rising adoption of farming methods to provide food safety. Thus, precision farming has successfully made the transition from being an academic research topic to a highly beneficial practice in the field of agriculture over the past two decades. Over the past two decades, PF (precision farming) has successfully made the transition from being an academic research topic to a highly beneficial practice in the field of agriculture.
An important component of precision farming is the provision of the right dosage of nutrients to crops at the right time. Controlled release fertilizers serve as important inputs in precision farming, satisfying this need. The precise application of fertilizer is one of the fastest-emerging opportunities in precision farming, and this practice is highly dependent on these controlled-release fertilizers.
?In addition to optimizing the fertilizer use efficiency, the application of controlled fertilizers using precision farming technologies can also be beneficial to prevent issues, such as excessive fertilizer leaching, fertilizer drain-off, and subsequent increase in biological oxygen demand (BOD) of water bodies. ?Hence, the rapid use of precision farming techniques over the world is boosting the use of specialty fertilizers.
Asia- Pacific Dominates the Market
The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest market share of the global specialty fertilizers market, with China being its fastest-growing market.
As per various studies, China is the most important and most influential country in the global fertilizer business. In 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China proposed a plan to reduce the reliance and usage of pesticides such as fertilizers by 2020 and further promote the development and usage of eco-friendly products such as specialty fertilizers, owing to the increasing demand for novel chemicals in the agricultural sector to enhance the production.
China has been a pioneer in the production and application of controlled-release fertilizers over the years, as a move toward nutrient imbalance and excessive nitrogen fertilizer usage challenges, such as eutrophication, ammonia loss, and low fertilizer usage efficiency. As a result, the Slow (Controlled) Release Fertilizer Development Association came into being in February 2011, which aims to actively develop new slow and controlled release varieties and implement tariff reduction and exemption policies for developing a low-carbon agricultural economy.
High micronutrient deficiency and increasing demand for crops have encouraged the farmers to adopt more micronutrients to increase soil health and enhance crop productivity. As farmers aim to get more out of every planted hectare, the awareness and demand for specialty fertilizers such as micronutrients and controlled-release fertilizers in the production of crops have increased rapidly in the recent past. This, in turn, is anticipated to drive the market.
The results of the market share analysis indicate a consolidated global specialty fertilizer market. Some of the major players are ICL Group, Nutrien Limited, Yara International, Eurochem Group AG, and The Mosaic Company. New product launches, partnerships, and acquisitions are the major strategies adopted by the leading companies in the market, globally.
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