“Potash” is a synonym term usually used for “fertilizer potassium”, in crop production techniques. It is a plant macronutrient that is available in the form of potassium chloride (KCl) or potassium sulphate (K₂SO₄) in the soil. Potassium is one such nutrient that is not stored by human body and needs to be continually supplemented for from dietary sources, which necessitates the presence of potassium in appropriate quantities in the food crops. One potassium form that is highly used in fertilizers in “Potassium oxide” (K2O), along with some other elements that enhance its solubility in the soil. The fertilizers are either in solid form which is powder, or liquid form. These are directly applicable via methods like broadcasting, foliar spraying, and fertigation.
The global potash fertilizers market is estimated to be valued at USD 21.60 billion in 2017, and is projected to reach USD 26.87 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 4.47%. The potash fertilizers market is driven by the rise in need for higher productivity using limited land area and increase in applicability of potash fertilizers. There is rising trend toward the consumption of organic food & food products, those which are produced without any synthetic or chemical inputs or with only natural or biofertilizers. This has been considered as one of the restraining factors for the market.
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Supply-Demand indexes for potash based:
According to the “Status of the World soil resources” report 2016 of “Food and Agricultural organisation” of U.N, soil erosion is estimated to wash off around 15-26 million tonnes of potassium (K), from the agricultural lands all over the world. These losses need to be curbed through external supply of the nutrient into the soil. A steady rise in the supply of potash fertilizers has been observed over the years 2015-2020.
The world fertilizer demand is projected for year 2020, by the “World Fertilizer trends and outlooks” report of “Food and Agricultural organisation” of U.N, the demand for the potash along with expected rise in CAGR.
Future Market Prospects and Challenges:
The fertilizers market is greatly driven by substantial natural factors such as, rising soil erosion levels, nutrient imbalances in the soils, land take or increasing urbanisation leading to lesser availability of agricultural lands, and soil acidification. Macro-economic factors driving the market include rising population in turn rising food demands globally, dependence on fertilizers for larger volumes of produce, and decreasing arable lands in different regions. The global potash fertilizers market was valued at USD 20,724.6 Million in 2016, and was projected to rise at a CAGR of 4.47% from 2017-2022. Over these the potential challenges that the fertilizer market faces today cannot be underestimated, such as rising awareness regarding organic soil management practices, rising consumption of organic foods, advancements of agricultural technologies and machineries.
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Although the market for these fertilisers has its drivers and challenges in equity, demand of potash as an agricultural nutrient has still managed to experience constancy in the level of demand over the years, and is expected to keep steadily rising. Infact potash fertilizer prices have risen by approximately 10% in 2019, due to the rise of prices of potash as a raw materials, which denotes significant opportunities in the market.