Patrick Heffer and Michel Prud homme. International Fertilizer Industry Association

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1 A/07/06 January nd IFA Enlarged Council Meeting Buenos Aires, Argentina 5-7 December 2006 World Agriculture and Fertilizer Demand, Global Fertilizer Supply and Trade Summary Report Patrick Heffer and Michel Prud homme International Fertilizer Industry Association Copyright 2007 International Fertilizer Industry Association - All Rights Reserved International Fertilizer Industry Association 28, rue Marbeuf Paris, France Tel: Fax: /47

2 This summary report was prepared by Patrick Heffer, Executive Secretary of the IFA Agriculture Committee, and Michel Prud homme, Executive Secretary of the IFA Production and International Trade Committee. It presents an overview of short-term prospects for world agriculture and fertilizer demand, as well as the global fertilizer supply and trade situation in 2006 and This report is available to the general public on the IFA web site or by request to the IFA Secretariat. The Summary Report draws on the revised versions of two reports presented at the 32 nd IFA Enlarged Council meeting held in Buenos Aires in December 2006: IFA report Short- Term Prospects for World Agriculture and Fertilizer Demand 2005/ /08 (A/07/08), and IFA report Global Fertilizer Supply and Trade (A/06/137b). These two comprehensive reports are restricted to IFA members only. The first part of the Summary Report looks at the global economic context and at the world agricultural situation. The second part provides fertilizer consumption estimates for 2005/06 and forecasts for 2006/07. The third section consists of IFA s perspective on fertilizer supply and supply/demand balances for 2006 and Copyright 2007 International Fertilizer Industry Association - All Rights Reserved

3 PART 1 GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONTEXT AND AGRICULTURAL SITUATION 1.1. Global Context Economic Situation Despite surging oil prices, the world economy remained very robust in 2006 for the 4 th consecutive year, with the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) estimated at 5.1 per cent. Forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 2007 point to a modest slowdown to 4.9 per cent, essentially because of an anticipated smaller expansion in developed countries. Economic growth is expected to remain buoyant in emerging Asia. World GDP Growth (%) (f) (f) World China USA India Euro area Brazil Russia Source: IMF Weather Conditions Weather conditions in 2006 were characterized by the occurrence of dry conditions in a number of key agricultural countries. Australia has been the most affected country, with output dropping by an average 60 to 70 per cent. Dry conditions in Australia and in parts of South-east Asia and Latin America, probably related to El Niño conditions that developed during the second half of the year, are likely to prevail during the first quarter of Policies and Regulations Policy support to biofuel production is gaining momentum in an increasing number of countries. In 2005, 37 billion litres (Bl) of biofuels were produced, which required cultivation of some 14 million hectares (Mha) according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). World Biofuel Production in 2005 (Bl) Country Ethanol Biodiesel Total Brazil USA EU China India Canada World Adapted from IEA Although detailed figures are not yet available for 2006, it is clear that this trend is continuing, with very rapid expansion of ethanol production in the USA, where maize is the main feedstock. In 2006 the USA became the largest ethanol producer worldwide. Biofuel production is also taking off quickly in Brazil, the EU, China and India. Processing crops for ethanol or biodiesel generates large amounts of co-products, which contain all the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). A large share of these coproducts is recycled in agriculture, thus mitigating the impact of biofuel production on fertilizer requirements. This is particularly true for P and K because there are greater losses of N in the recycling process. Negotiations under the Doha Round and on accession of Russia and Ukraine to the World Trade Organization (WTO) are not expected to have any direct impact in However, continued stagnation or the failure of the Doha Round could very well result in the postponement of national agricultural policy reforms or in less ambitious reforms, in the proliferation of bilateral trade agreements, and in an increase of the number of WTO dispute settlement procedures. The enlargement of the EU to Bulgaria and Romania from 1 January 2007 should have a positive impact on the agricultural sector of these two countries. On the environmental side, reactive nitrogen remains the main issue. There is increasing awareness of the need to improve nitrogen use efficiency, including in a number of developing countries Agricultural Situation Market conditions improved during the second half of World cereal production in 2006 is projected down for the second consecutive year after the record harvest of 2004, but it remains close to two billion metric tonnes (Bt) according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Coarse grain and wheat production is contracting, while rice output has been increasing steadily

4 At the same time, global cereal demand is booming, essentially under the influence of a recovery of world meat production and of surging ethanol production in the USA. World Cereal Production and Consumption (Mt) Oilseed, sugar and cotton production is climbing in response to growing demand, but inventories for all these crops are relatively large thus moderating their prices. This context is anticipated to translate into a larger global area planted to cereals in PART 2 GLOBAL FERTILIZER DEMAND Production Utilization Source: FAO As a result, world cereal stocks are contracting again, with an aggregate stock-to-use ratio as low as 16 per cent according to the projections of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is the lowest level registered for more than two decades. Evolution of the Global Cereal Stock-to-Use Ratio 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% FAO USDA 0% 95/96 97/98 99/00 01/02 03/04 05/06 Source: FAO + USDA The stock-to-use ratio for coarse grains is forecast at only 12 per cent, with US maize inventories dropping more than 50 per cent in 2006/07. Cereal stocks held by China are seen to be stabilizing, at least temporarily, after many years of very sharp contraction, while inventories held by the major exporters are projected significantly down, because of low harvests in Australia and strong demand in the USA. As a consequence, international cereal prices are high, with maize futures skyrocketing. Aggregate world fertilizer consumption grew 3.9 per cent in 2004/05 and then plateaued (-0.2 per cent) at Mt nutrients in 2005/06. Demand for N increased (+1.1 per cent), while P and K consumption contracted by 1.3 and 3.2 per cent respectively. Very different trends were observed at the regional level, with firm growth in countries with fertilizer subsidies, which mitigated the impact of high fertilizer prices and low agricultural commodity prices during the campaign. Strong growth rates were observed in South Asia (+7.5 per cent), East Asia (+4.5 per cent) and West Asia and North-east Africa (+4.0 per cent), while significant contractions occurred in Oceania (-8.2 per cent), Africa (-8.0 per cent), Latin America and the Caribbean (-7.4 per cent), North America (-7.0 per cent) and West Europe (-6.8 per cent). In 2006/07, cereal prices increasing above levels observed in 2004 for maize, wheat and rice, are expected to boost fertilizer demand. Global fertilizer consumption is forecast to reach Mt, corresponding to a 4.5 per cent increase year-on-year. Demand for P would grow faster (+5.0 per cent) than demand for K (+4.7 per cent) and N (+4.2 per cent). In this overall favourable context, fertilizer consumption is anticipated to increase in all regions but North-east Asia (-7.9 per cent) and Oceania (-6.7 per cent). The strongest relative increase in demand is forecast in North America (+8.4 per cent), followed by South Asia (+8.0 per cent). Consumption in East Asia would rise again by some 4.3 per cent. Global Fertilizer Consumption, 2004/05 to 2007/08 (Mt nutrients and annual rate of change) N P 2 O 5 K 2 O Total 04/ /06 (e) Change +1.1% -1.3% -3.2% -0.2% 06/07 (f) Change +4.2% +5.0% +4.7% +4.5% 07/08 (f) Change +2.6% +3.3% +4.1% +3.0% - 2 -

5 Projections to 2007/08 indicate a slowdown of fertilizer demand expansion. Total consumption is predicted to rise 3.0 per cent, to Mt, with stronger growth for K (+4.1 per cent) than for P (+3.3 per cent) and N (+2.6 per cent). Again, most of the growth would occur in South Asia and East Asia. Between 2005 and 2007, it is estimated that almost 70 per cent of the increase in world fertilizer consumption would come from these two regions together. Evolution of World Fertilizer Demand between 2005 and 2007 East Asia South Asia North America Latin America & Caribbean West Europe South-east Asia West Asia & North-east Asia East Europe & Central Asia Central Europe Oceania Africa North-east Asia Demand in 2005 Variation in The global urea market showed some unexpected strength in 2006, with growing trade levels, tight supply and relatively sustained demand. World production in 2006 was estimated at Mt of urea. Despite increased tonnage from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the merchant urea supply was generally tight due to the absence of China and Indonesia in international trade. In 2006, India drove the demand for imports, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Europe. In addition, there is a growing displacement of other nitrogen-based fertilizers by urea. PART 3 GLOBAL FERTILIZER SUPPLY The improving global fertilizer demand in 2006 affected positively the supply of fertilizers, in particular urea and other nitrogen products. Demand of processed phosphates and potassium fertilizers was firm, while trade was variable, depending on the product. Nitrogen The nitrogen supply/demand conditions in 2006 were tighter than expected, driven by firm nitrogen fertilizer consumption in Asia and a recovery in Brazil. The world s ammonia production in 2006 was estimated at 150 Mt NH 3, increasing by three per cent over Global seaborne ammonia availability further tightened, due to limited net capacity growth in World ammonia capacity in 2006 rose to 166 Mt NH 3. Despite a further increase in nitrogen capacity, the global nitrogen supply/demand situation will remain relatively balanced during Close to 6.0 Mt of new urea capacity was commissioned in Global urea capacity is projected to further increase in The world urea market may remain tight in the first half of 2007, with firming import demand across the globe. New capacity will emerge in the second half of 2007, leading to a growing urea surplus

6 Potash World potash demand was strong in 2006 but there were lower international sales and an unexpected reduction of supply. Drawn-out negotiations between suppliers and two major importers impacted the level of global trade. World potash production declined by more than 9 per cent to about 50 Mt MOP. Potassium fertilizer consumption was relatively firm in China and India, while modestly recovering Brazil. Sales were depressed in both the United States and Western Europe during the first half of Phosphate Global production and trade of phosphate rock decreased to 168 Mt and 30 Mt respectively in The supply of phosphoric acid was tight on account of strong domestic demand, but trade declined to 4.9 Mt P 2 O 5, due to technical supply disruptions. The world phosphoric acid capacity was relatively stable in 2006 but will decline in The global supply/demand balance of phosphoric acid shows a marginal surplus in 2006 and a relatively balanced, if not tight, situation in There were limited capacity additions. Global potash capacity rose to 39.8 Mt K 2 O in 2006, with most of the increase occurring in Canada and China. In 2007, global capacity will expand marginally but the loss of a major mine in Russia will further tighten the global supply in the short term. The supply of processed phosphates in 2006 expanded by 5 per cent to 24 Mt P 2 O 5, but trade patterns shifted due to strong sales into India and a decline of imports in Brazil, China and Pakistan. A further restructuring of phosphate-related fertilizer capacity took place in the United States and Western Europe. Between 2005 and 2007, the world s phosphate fertilizer capacity will barely expand. The global potash supply/demand balances for 2006 and 2007 show tight supply conditions and growing demand, with a steady decline of the prevailing surplus. World potash sales in 2007 are projected to expand, with firm import demand in all major consuming countries. In 2007, the global market for processed phosphates is projected to grow, notably due to rising domestic deliveries and higher exports in most consuming countries. New export tonnage is anticipated from North Africa and China

7 Sulphur The global sulphur market in 2006 showed sustained growth in the industrial sector and firm import demand. Global market conditions were relatively balanced but, for the third consecutive year, withdrawals from stocks were needed to match demand. World elemental sulphur production in 2006 was estimated at 48.3 Mt S, increasing 3 per cent over This growth was split between West Asia and Asia. A small increase was reported in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, while production remained stable in all other regions. In 2006, the demand for elemental sulphur for fertilizers showed a modest increase related to higher production of phosphate-based fertilizers. For the period from 2005 to 2007, the global balance between production and consumption of elemental sulphur shows an increasing surplus, from a modest negative balance in 2005 and 2006 to a net 1.0 Mt surplus in 2007, marking a turning point toward growing annual surpluses

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