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Problems in Slow-Release Fertilizer Market

China Agriculture Report By CnAgri2012-09-21 13:48:49China Agriculture Report Print

Slow-release fertilizer production has experienced a rapid growth over the last few years, with the nation’s slow-release fertilizer productive capacity and production increasing from 2.5 million MT and 850,000 MT in Year 2009 to 2.85 million MT and 1.2 million MT respectively in Year 2011. Slow-release fertilizer capacity and production are predicted to reach 3.5 million MT and 1.5 million MT respectively this year.

But slow-release market is faced with a number of problems: First, immature technology. Due to poor coating technology, fertilizer’s nutrient is released at one time instead of over a long period and the degradation of coating material takes many years, suggesting some soil pollution.

Second, chaotic market order. More than 50% of the slow-release fertilizer in the market is in fact bulk-blending fertilizer in which only urea is coated with sulfur. This kind of products tarnishes the reputation of slow-release fertilizer.

Third, small market scale. Slow-release consumption is below 1.5 million MT annually, just 1% of total fertilizer consumption. The small scale is vulnerable to speculation and producers are in an inferior position when bargaining with raw material suppliers.
From “China Fertilizer Market Weekly Report

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