World fertiliser consumption will grow by 1.8 percent a year through 2018, according to FAO’s new report "World fertiliser trends and outlook to 2018."
At the same time "the global capacity of fertiliser products, intermediates and raw materials will increase further," the report said.
As the potential to produce fertilisers will outpace their use, the global potential balance – a technical term measuring the amount available over actual demand – will grow for nitrogen, phosphate and potash, the main three soil fertilisers.
Global use of nitrogen, by far the largest fertiliser base, is projected to rise 1.4 percent each year through 2018, while phosphate use will increase 2.2 percent and potash 2.6 percent. In comparison, the supply of those three critical components is expected to grow by 3.7 percent, 2.7 percent and 4.2 percent per annum, respectively, according to FAO’s outlook report.
The report does not forecast future prices, but notes that fertiliser prices, after a surge in 2011, were broadly lower in mid-2014 than in 2010.