The global water soluble fertilizer market size was valued at USD 12.5 billion in 2015 and is expected to register a CAGR of 6.5% in terms of revenue over the forecast period. Soaring demand for food crops, food grains, vegetables, and fruits in emerging economies like China, India, and Brazil is likely to positively influence product demand. Surge in population, along with rising inclination of consumers toward disease-free and healthy fresh fruit and vegetables, will fuel market growth over the coming years.
There has been increasing demand for and adoption of drip irrigation as it saves water and is suitable for all lands, including undulating terrain, barren lands, rolling topography, and areas with shallow soil layers. Rising government initiatives focused on increasing agricultural output, coupled with implementation of various subsidies to promote the use of drip irrigation will have a positive impact on the industry.
Easy application, along with high crop productivity, will spur product demand over the coming years. Availability of land has been decreasing in leading agricultural countries in light of surging industrial and infrastructure development. Countries such as India, China, and the U.S. are witnessing a significant decline in arable land owing to soil erosion, urbanization, and infrastructure development. Decreasing availability of arable land is expected to fuel demand for water soluble fertilizers over the forecast period.
On the down side, volatility of feedstock prices will hinder market growth over the forecast period. Nevertheless, increasing investments by key market participants for development of environment-friendly and efficient fertilizers will create growth opportunities over the next few years.
Nitrogenous was the dominant segment in 2015 and accounted for 60.5% of the global volume that year. The segment is expected to witness steady growth on account of high application in oilseeds and grains. The product provides better texture and color to plants and also increases overall crop productivity.
Potassium will witness substantial volume growth in the market as it aids water retention and enables protein synthesis to energize plants for healthy growth. Moreover, these are highly soluble, non-toxic to roots, and improve tolerance for frost, which will increase its consumption. The segment is expected to register a CAGR of 4.9% from 2016 to 2024.
Micronutrients are expected to grow steadily over the coming years, owing to rising demand for food products. These are key nutrients that are essential for plant development and neutral crop nutrition. The product segment is likely to be driven by increasing demand for food and related products over the forecast period.
Fertigation was the largest segment in the water soluble fertilizer market in 2015 and accounted for over 65.0% of the global revenue. This segment is expected to show high gains over the course of the forecast period owing to high crop productivity and lower labor cost involved in the process.
This method reduces losses and ensures even distribution of fertilizers. Moreover, demand for fertigation will show high growth in light of its low cost as compared to foliar applications. Majority of the demand is likely to stem from emerging countries where farmers still practice conventional methods of farming and are gradually shifting toward modern techniques.
Foliar includes the application of fertilizers directly to the leaves. High effectiveness resulting in improved yield will drive demand for water soluble products, particularly, micronutrients. Increasing demand for fruits and exotic flowers is likely to fuel segment growth over the forecast period.
On the basis of crop type, the global market has been segmented into horticulture, field, turf and ornamental, and plantation. Field crops accounted for 64.9% of the overall volume in 2015 as they are cultivated on a large scale in order to meet food requirements. Rising demand for field crops such as rice, cotton, wheat, oilseeds, and other grains in countries such as U.S., China, India, and Brazil is expected to augment industry demand over the coming years. Growing population is one of the most crucial factors boosting demand for field crops in these countries.
The horticulture and plantation crops segments are expected to observe steady growth over the coming years. Rising population in urban centers is likely to drive demand for horticultural products. Apart from this, growing demand for fruits and vegetables, on the heels of rising awareness about their health benefits, is likely to drive segment growth. Horticulture crops will also receive a major boost owing to government initiatives and promotions in order to improve crop productivity.
Asia Pacific accounted for 22.6% of the overall revenue in 2015 and is projected to increase its demand for water soluble fertilizers over the next few years on account of growing agricultural output in countries like China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Moreover, the presence of medium to small scale market participants in the region, coupled with rapid economic growth and government support, is expected to drive the market.
China leads in the production of rice, followed by India and Indonesia, accounting for more than a quarter of the global rice production. Furthermore, production of fruits and plantation crops such as tea and coffee are very popular in China. Presence of leading fertilizer manufacturers like Sinofert Holdings Limited; EuroChem; Bunge; and Agrium Inc. is likely to strengthen the regional market.
Similarly, India is expected to observe significant growth as the government of India has been implementing innovative ideas to strengthen its agricultural sector. In addition, the population of India is likely to soar over the coming years, fueling food demand and thereby driving the regional market.
The industry is extremely competitive in nature with primary participants involved in continuous R&D and product innovation. The industry is mainly dominated by major players such as Agrium Inc.; Potash Corp; Israel Chemicals Limited; The Mosaic Company; K+S AG; EuroChem; and Yara International ASA.
Other prominent players include Coromandel International Limited, Compo GmbH & Co. KG; Hebei Monband Water Soluble Fertilizer Co. Limited; Haifa Chemicals Limited; Sociedad Quimica Y Minera SA; Sinochem Fertilizers Co., Limited; TATA Chemicals; CF Industries Holdings Inc.; Qatar Fertilizer Company; and Iowa Fertilizer.
In August 2016, Yara International acquired Tata Chemicals’ urea business in India for USD 400 million for business expansion in the country. In July 2016, Agrium Inc. completed the acquisition of Cargill’s agro retail business to expand its market presence.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2013 - 2014
2016 - 2024
Revenue in USD Million, CAGR from 2016 to 2024
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Russia, U.K., Ukraine, China, India, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Brazil
Revenue and volume forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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