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The global aquaculture fertilizer market size was USD 12.70 million in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 10.72 million in 2021 to USD 27.44 million by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 14.36% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with aquaculture fertilizer experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market had exhibited a decline of 24.27% in 2020 as compared to 2019. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Adequate aquaculture fertilization is known to increase fish yields up to five times. Phytoplankton communities are known to exhibit rapid successions of species in fertilized ponds. Pond fertilization increases phytoplankton productivity, acting as the food base for fish and crustaceans. At a macro level, the need for plankton turbidity is driving the demand for fertilizers in aquaculture. Fish in fertilized aquaculture ponds are easier to catch as plankton turbidity hinders their vision, making them less cautious.
Furthermore, plankton blooms also reduce light penetration to aquaculture pond bottoms, checking the growth of various aquatic weeds. Brands are likely to market their products by highlighting the other important benefits of aquaculture fertilization beyond plankton blooms to attract customers. At a macro level, advancements in and the rising availability of aquaculture equipment are favoring market expansion. CPI and Inc, Reef Industries, Pioneer Group, AKVA group, Lifegard Aquatics, Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. (PAES), Aquaculture Equipment Ltd, and FREA Aquaculture Solutions are the major aquaculture equipment suppliers worldwide.
Recent years have witnessed an increase in the number of fertilizer manufacturers worldwide. The manufacturers focus on investing in digital tools and biologics to enhance their brands’ reputation. For instance, in April 2018, Nutrien Ltd., a Canadian fertilizer company, launched a digital agricultural platform designed to help farmers manage the timing of fertilizer application, planting, and harvesting using soil and weather data. This company has also focused on acquiring digital AgTech firms to strengthen its presence in the digital platform. From an aquaculture fertilizer standpoint, such innovations can translate into potential business opportunities for companies to focus on digital tools for better aquaculture yields.
Disturbances in Supply Chain Management during COVID-19 Pandemic to Slow Down Growth
Key activities in the aquaculture fertilizer supply chain are fertilizer production, processing, distribution, retail and wholesale marketing. The COVID-19 impact and related measures significantly disrupted each stage of this chain. Households with financial distress slowed down their spending on fish consumption across countries amid the COVID-19 crisis, thereby indirectly affecting the demand for fertilizers in aquaculture.
According to a report published by the FAO in February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in low market demand for most aquaculture businesses worldwide, having direct negative implications on quantities sold and reducing revenues. This analysis also indicates the low market penetration of aquaculture fertilizer during the COVID-19 crisis. With most farmers across countries focusing on maintenance rates rather than growth rates to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses, the aquaculture fertilizer market is expected to grow slowly throughout 2021.
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Increasing Adoption of Fertilizers in Seawater Aquaculture within Asian Countries
While international companies have limited options to invest in capture fishing businesses in Asian countries owing to various foreign investment restrictions, the region’s significant coastline territory suggests that aquaculture holds a greater potential for foreign companies than capture fishing. Foreign companies are likely to partner with domestic entities in Asian countries to exploit the business opportunities in seawater aquaculture in the near future. Beyond China and India, seawater aquaculture is gaining immense popularity in Southeast Asian countries. Fish products are considered an important part of the average individual’s diet in Southeast Asia.
Expanding World Aquaculture Production Will Trigger the Demand for Aquaculture Fertilizer
The expanding global aquaculture production and per capital fish consumption is expected to encourage the entry of numerous fertilizer manufacturers into the aquaculture sector in the near term. According to an FAO report published in 2020, China emerged as the world’s largest aquaculture producer with 47,559 thousand tonnes of fish production, followed by India (7,066 thousand tonnes) and Indonesia (5,427 thousand tonnes). The robust fish production in these countries highlights the rising need for countries to achieve adequate domestic aquaculture production. From a fertilizer manufacturing standpoint, the rising aquaculture production in these countries clearly indicates potential business opportunities within Asian markets. Market players strategically place their production facilities near major markets. For instance, Tan International, a U.K.-based aquaculture fertilizer manufacturer, serves remote locations in Ireland and the U.K. through local distributors. The company principally focusses on strengthening its presence in the U.K. as it is one of the most prominent aquaculture producers within the European Union (EU).
Government Efforts to Revitalize the Fertilizer Industry is Favoring Regional Market Expansion
Recent years have witnessed various governments across countries, most notably in Asia, stepping up their efforts to boost domestic fertilizer production. While only a meager share of the total fertilizer production is used in aquaculture, major developments in fertilizer influence the aquaculture fertilizer industry. In February 2020, the Chinese government instructed local governments to maintain stable fertilizer prices and ensure a steady supply ahead of the spring season. Furthermore, the Chinese government also directed local road transportation authorities to prioritize agriculture-related industries, including fertilizers to ensure a steady fertilizer supply amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In its annual budget of 2017-18, the Government of India (GoI) allocated INR 70,000 crores (approximately USD 10.5 Billion) as subsidies for the Indian fertilizer industry. In this respect, the GOI assured to pay individuals the difference between production cost that is higher than the Maximum retail price (MRP) or the price at which the product (fertilizer) is sold, in the form of subsidies. Such government initiatives are expected to increase the production of fertilizers in the country while also encouraging new players’ entry into the fertilizers sector.
Fluctuating Fertilizer Prices Paired with Consumers’ Lack of Knowledge Regarding Aquaculture Fertilization is Impeding Market Growth
Fluctuating fertilizer prices have been challenging manufacturers to fix profit margins. The supply and cost of fertilizers are usually intertwined with numerous variables, including global markets, energy costs, geography, and logistics. As fertilizers are typically heavy, logistics can be a significant expense for manufacturers. Furthermore, the availability of trucks and shipping containers, most notably in emerging economies, also considerably impacts the ability to transport goods in a timely fashion.
Fertilizer prices are likely to rise in the near term, increasing fertilizers consumption in the international market and mounting oil prices. Manufacturers and consumers are likely to switch to lower-cost fertilizers as fertilizer prices rise. However, this trend could result in the production and consumption of poor-quality fertilizers, which, in turn, would offer unpredictable and inconsistent results in aquaculture.
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Urea to Hold Major Share Backed by Rising Urea Manufacturing Plants Worldwide
Based on source, the market is classified into urea, triple superphosphate (TSP), di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), potassium chloride, single super phosphate (SSP), specialty fertilizers, and others. The urea segment held a dominant aquaculture fertilizer market share in 2020. Urea is the most common fertilizer used for aquaculture purposes. The use of urea for aquaculture is known to increase the growth of aquatic life in a short period. In this respect, more aquatic life could be produced on relatively less land by fewer individuals within a relatively short period, thus supporting the needs of a huge population.
China is the world’s largest urea-consuming country, with a third of global urea production sold in the People’s Republic. China, India, and other countries in Middle East & Africa, such as Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are the most prominent urea manufacturers worldwide. Recent years have witnessed various developments in the urea manufacturing space. For instance, in July 2020, the Government of India (GoI) announced its plan to commission four new urea manufacturing plants by 2021 to reduce its dependence on Chinese imports.
TSP production amounts to approximately 5 million tonnes every year, 4 million tonnes traded internationally. TSP is manufactured only in a few countries worldwide. Chinese, Moroccan, Bulgarian, Israeli, Egyptian, and Tunisian companies are the largest manufacturers and exporters of TSP globally. On the other hand, Brazil, Bangladesh, the U.S., Iran, and countries in Northwest Europe are the main consumers of TSP globally. The increasing international prices of DAP are likely to increase TSP manifold consumption in the coming years as it is traditionally viewed as an economical substitute to DAP.
Based on type, the specialty fertilizers segment is further categorized into potassium sulfate, potassium nitrate, monoammonium phosphate (MAP), and other specialty fertilizers. The potassium nitrate segment led the market in 2020. Potassium nitrate can be used as a soluble fertilizer for aquaculture purposes. This fertilizer is a potassium and nitric nitrogen source potassium and nitric nitrogen source, and is virtually chloride-free. Potassium nitrate is ideal for aquaculture as it is a rich source of K (potassium) and N (Nitrogen).
Fertilizers can be coated for delayed release of nutrients over weeks/months. While slow-release fertilizers were originally sprayed with fertilizer granules (molten S), polymer coatings are currently more commonly employed. Glycerol ester, ethylene vinyl acetate polymer, and dicyclopentadiene are the popular polymer coatings worldwide. Various studies suggest that slow-release aquaculture pond fertilizers are more effective than their fast releasing counterparts. However, these fertilizers are seldom used and are yet to gain widespread attention.
Rising Demand for Aquaculture Fertilization within the Onshore Aquaculture Sector will Favor Asian Markets
Based on application, the global market has been categorized into seawater aquaculture and onshore aquaculture. While North American and European countries predominantly rely on seawater aquaculture, Asian countries have traditionally relied heavily on groundwater aquaculture. However, the growing middle-class population in India, China, and other Asian countries, coupled with heightened demand for higher-value western seafood, is likely to contribute significantly to the growth of the seawater aquaculture segment in the foreseeable future.
For instance, the Atlantic salmon, a fish species traditionally farmed in Western countries, is gaining popularity in Asian countries, China imports approximately 70,000 tonnes of salmonids every year, mostly imported from Norway, Denmark, and Chile. Chinese farmers are stepping up their efforts to raise salmon, trout, and other temperate fish to reduce prices and import dependence. Such factors are likely to encourage fertilizer manufacturers to explore and exploit the seawater aquaculture sector in the near future. Cage culture of saltwater fish has been promoted across countries, notably India, in recent years. The increasing availability and access to genomic information of farmed fish paired with technological advancements in aquaculture production systems have been creating heightened interest in seawater aquaculture in the country. Cage culture is also popular in western markets. Aquafarm Equipment AS, a Norway-based company, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of floating cage systems.
The growth of the global seaweed industry has a direct influence on the seaweed aquaculture fertilizer sector. Contrary to prominent seaweed producing/cultivating Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, South Korea and the Philippines, direct seaweed consumption is yet to emerge as a common practice in Western, most notably European countries. In this respect, European consumers differ from their Asian counterparts when it comes to the socio-cultural importance associated with seaweed.
Rising Demand for a Wide Variety of Freshwater Fish will create a Need for Freshwater Aquaculture
Based on type, the onshore aquaculture segment has been further sub-segmented into ponds filled with seawater and groundwater. Freshwater aquaculture is popular for producing striped catfish and tilapia, produced mainly for domestic and export consumption. The rising consumption of these fish, notably in Asian markets, will boost the demand for fertilizers in freshwater/groundwater ponds in the near future.
Asia Pacific Aquaculture Fertilizer Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)
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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 6.72 million in 2020. China is the most prominent market within Asia Pacific. China’s fish farming operations are characterized by freshwater aquaculture. The Chinese carps continue to be reared as the principal species in most of the country’s inland water bodies. However, in recent years, the Chinese government has also been focusing on exploiting water storage reservoirs for culture-based aquaculture. China is likely to expand its aquaculture in both coastal/marine and inland waters in the near term.
India is forecast to emerge as the fastest-growing regional market. This growth is attributable to the increasing popularity of freshwater prawn farming countrywide. Induced breeding of catfishes and carps in the country further contribute to freshwater aquaculture development. India’s brackish water aquaculture continues to be focused around the giant tiger prawn. However, the culture of whiteleg shrimp is encouraging domestic farmers to invest in fertilizing ponds, given their fast growth and low prevalence of native diseases. The Southeast Asian sub-region, including Cambodia, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam, has the sea. Their coastlines are expected to be exploited for seawater aquaculture in the near term. Fertilizer companies are likely to target these countries to achieve regional expansion in the foreseeable future. The rising number of freshwater shrimp hatcheries is boosting shrimp production worldwide. Aquaculture of Texas, Inc., a U.S.-based company, is among the sizable number of shrimp hatcheries worldwide focusing on staying competitive in domestic markets.
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As is the scenario across international markets, the North American aquaculture fertilizer market is still in its nascent stage. However, prospective fertilizer companies are likely to target North American markets, most notably the U.S., throughout the forecast period, given the rising need for domestic seafood productions to decrease the country’s dependence on imports. Most seawater aquaculture production in the U.S. consists of oysters, mussels, shrimp, and salmon. Advancements in management techniques and technology contribute to the availability of more fish species to the public, thereby leading to a heightened interest in pond/tank fertilization.
Nutrien Limited, Yara International ASA, and Mosaic Company to Acquire Leading Position in the Global Market
Global fertilizer market exhibits a moderately consolidated structure. The three key players in the industry approximately hold the major share in the market backed by their huge clientele base, strong brand loyalty & distribution network. Mergers & acquisitions and partnerships & agreements are two strategies adopted in the global aquaculture fertilizer market for growth and global expansion. The rising concerns related to the environment and carbon emissions have provoked manufacturers to invest in the development of environment-friendly fertilizers, thereby accelerating growth in coming years.
An Infographic Representation of Aquaculture Fertilizer Market
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The market research report includes qualitative and quantitative insights into the industry. It also offers a detailed industry outlook and analysis with market size and growth rate for all possible segments. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of related markets, competitive landscape, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, SWOT analysis, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key aquaculture fertilizer industry trends.
Value (USD Million)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 12.70 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 27.44 million by 2028.
Registering a CAGR of 14.36%, the market will exhibit promising growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).
Based on source, the urea segment is expected to lead during the forecast period.
The expanding world aquaculture production backed by increasing per capita fish consumption is the key factor driving the market growth.
URALCHEM JSC, Sinofert Holdings Limited, Luxi Chemical Group Co. Ltd., Nutrien Limited, Yara International ASA., and The Mosaic Company are a few of the key players in the market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
Based on application, the onshore aquaculture segment holds a major share in the global market.
Increasing adoption of fertilizers in seawater aquaculture within Asian countries is the key market trend.
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