Research Background: In 2011, the trend of China’s fertilizer market is featured by adjustment and differentiation. The adjustment is firstly driven by government regulation and the change of external environment, and is also closely related to the transformation demand of the fertilizer enterprises. For example, in 2011, the output of fertilizer is expected to exceed the history record, yet the output of nitrogen fertilizer, especially that of urea (carbamide), has remained declining and its proportion in fertilizer production has decreased remarkably. There is only small increase in demand for fertilizer, while the industrial consumption of fertilizer (including the consumption of single type of fertilizer by compound fertilizer enterprises) keeps on rapid increase. The compound fertilizer has also begun to become the mainstream of chemical fertilizers. On the one hand, a small number of dominant enterprises that control the resources still gain high profits; on the other hand, the profitability of most fertilizer enterprises remains weak. On the whole, the prospect of fertilizer industry is on decline. Some small and medium-sized enterprises has withdrawn or are withdrawing from the fertilizer market. In spite of the high losses, the investment into nitrogen fertilizer industry still keeps on rapid increase in 2011, while the investment into phosphate and potash fertilizer industry declines sharply. The business scope of fertilizer enterprises extends along both ends of the industry chain. On the one hand, they try to control the resources in the upper end of the industry chain through combining mineral and fertilizer production; on the other hand, they accelerate their expansion to non-fertilizer fields such as coal chemical industry and phosphate chemical industry. The above adjustment and differentiation are the major causes of the fluctuations in China’s fertilizer market in 2011.
Due to the government’s macro-control guide toward ensuring economic growth and curbing inflation, while China’s real economy keeps its rapid growth, the high inflation pressure seems to be mitigated, indicating that the over-heated economy is expected with much confidence to achieve soft-landing. Therefore, it is estimated that the macro-control in 2012 shall be slightly loosened than the previous year. However, the national plan for fertilizer industry and relevant investment policy shall still be oriented to restricted development, while the exportation tariff policy might be further tightened. The constant rise of the resource products prices (coal, natural gas, oil, phosphate, sulfur, etc.) will definitely drive the operation cost of fertilizer enterprises to grow higher and higher. As a result, the operation environment of fertilizer enterprises tends to be adverse. Besides, the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, high international oil price caused by the turmoil in Middle East and the continual expanding of international production capacity of fertilizer all exert negative influence on China’s fertilizer production and exportation. Those internal and external factors together shall prompt fertilizer industry to speed up its industry restructuring and the Merger & Reorganization inside the fertilizer industry, while the industrial differentiation and the broad market fluctuation shall last for a long time, which intensifies the uncertainty of fertilizer market trend.
On the basis of an overall analysis and review of China’s fertilizer market in 2011, and in accordance with the national economic situation and the policy change, BOABC shall make an in-depth analysis of the trend of China’s fertilizer market in 2012 and provide a clear judgment for people at home and abroad who focus on China’s fertilizer market as a reference for their decision-making.