December 5, 2023

Ammonia Market Forecast: Meeting the Global Food Security Challenge 2030

The ammonia market has witnessed remarkable growth over the past decade, driven primarily by its crucial role in ensuring global food security. As the world strives to increase crop yields per unit area, ammonia has emerged as a key player due to its role as a building block of nitrogen, a vital component in agrichemical production.

Ammonia, most commonly manufactured using the Haber-Bosch method, has found its place as a cornerstone of modern agriculture. This method, involving aluminum oxide, magnesium oxide, and iron oxide as catalysts, effectively converts atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia through a hydrogen reaction at extreme temperatures. Once infamous for its use in explosives during World War I, today, the Haber-Bosch process primarily serves the production of fertilizers.

One notable trend in recent years is the 50% increase in primary crop production since the turn of the century, necessitating a shift towards urea, a dry fertilizer replacing ammonium nitrate. Urea production involves the reaction of carbon dioxide with ammonia, and its adoption is on the rise due to its efficiency and effectiveness.

Furthermore, ammonia’s versatility extends beyond agriculture. Its use as an environmentally friendly refrigerant is gaining traction, especially in a time when climate change is a pressing concern. Ammonia refrigeration systems are garnering attention due to their zero Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP), making them a responsible choice for cold chain facilities, petrochemical units, and combined cycle power plants.

In the quest for sustainability, “green ammonia” is emerging as a potential game-changer. This innovation involves producing ammonia using hydrogen extracted from water electrolysis powered by alternative energy sources, resulting in CO2-free production. Another approach involves carbon capture and storage to create “blue ammonia.” Although the production cost of these green alternatives is currently higher, they hold promise as the world seeks to combat climate change.

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China has taken the lead in the ammonia market, driven by its commitment to ensuring food security and modernizing its agricultural sector. With a growing population and limited arable land, China’s demand for ammonium nitrate fertilizer is insatiable. In response, the United States is ramping up its ammonia production capacity to reduce dependency on imports.

As competition in the ammonia market intensifies, companies are increasingly turning to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to stay ahead. Key players in the industry, such as Yara International ASA, CF Industries Holdings, Inc., Potash Corp, Nutrien, and others, are actively seeking strategic alliances to maintain their positions.

One notable recent development includes OCI Nitrogen’s agreement with Eastern Pacific Shipping and the Hartmann Group to commercialize methane and ammonia as future shipping fuels by 2024. Additionally, Industries Qatar’s acquisition of Qatar Fertilizer Company’s stake reflects a broader strategy of strengthening downstream presence and creating value in the ammonia market.

With its multifaceted applications, ammonia continues to be a dynamic and essential player in industries ranging from agriculture to environmental sustainability, shaping the future of global markets.

Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023-2030 – By Product, Technology, Grade, Application, End-user, Region: (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa)

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This press release first seen on Brilad