World demand for fertilizers will rise again this season to hit a new record level, driven by growth in emerging economies and strong fundamentals in agricultural markets, the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) said on Thursday.
Fertilizer demand, expressed as consumption of key nutrients nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, should rise 3 percent to 178.2 million tonnes in 2011/12, the IFA said in a summary of a market outlook.
"Responding to attractive agricultural prices, world fertilizer demand is anticipated to rise steadily in 2011/12," it said.
Overall demand growth this season will include a 3.1 percent rise for nitrogen to 107.7 million tonnes, a 1.0 percent increase for phosphorous to 41.1 million tonnes and a 5.7 percent rise for potassium to 29.4 million tonnes, the IFA said.
The projected demand for 2011/12 will surpass an already record level of 173 million tonnes estimated for 2010/11, when an economic rebound and tight commodity markets drove a 6.2 percent rise in fertilizer consumption, the IFA said.
Of the three main nutrients, last year's demand for potassium still lagged levels it had reached before 2008/09.
"By the end of the 2011/12 campaign, world fertilizer demand is expected to have fully recovered from the (2008/09) economic downturn for the three macronutrients," IFA said.
It tentatively forecast that world consumption of fertilizers would grow 2.3 percent in 2012/13 but said the outlook was dependent on a deteriorating context in mature economies.
On the supply side, production capacity expanded in 2011 and should grow again in 2012 as new projects come on stream in response to rising demand, it said. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Nigel Hunt, editing by Jane Baird)