By Pilar García-Serrano
Industry estimates indicate that fertiliser demand has decreased slightly in 2019 compared to 2018, with a 2% decline recorded in the overall market.
- The simple nitrogen fertiliser market shrunk by 7%. Ammonium sulphate and urea have experienced the biggest declines, while the demand for nitrogen solutions has increased significantly.
- Consumption of simple phosphate fertilisers fell by 10% to similar figures in 2017.
- Consumption of potash fertilisers fell by 15%.
- In the complex fertiliser market, an overall increase of 7% was recorded, as a result of the growth experienced by ammonium phosphates, 49%, and the maintenance of NPK consumption.
In nutrients: nitrogen consumption is 1,010 MT, 2% lower than in 2018; phosphoric anhydride consumption is up 13% from the previous year to 480 MT; potassium oxide, on the other hand, is down 6% to 388 MT.
Among other aspects, fertiliser use has been conditioned by the following basic factors:
Sowing and fertilisation of the 2018 autumn and winter crops was irregular due to the absence of rainfall and ended with a reduction in the sown area of close to 10%.
The extreme drought in the first three months of 2019 has affected the top dressing. In April there was significant rainfall, which greatly improved harvest expectations.
The drought in the spring and summer months, until the cereals were harvested, had led to expectations of dismal yields, which in the end were not so bad.
The sown area of spring cereals exceeded that of 2018. Corn, given the better price than other cereals, exceeded the 2018 area.
Rainfall was abundant during the autumn of 2019 in the north, while in the south and in the east the lack of soil tillage led to lower sowing fertilisations.