"...for the times they are a changing...",
Bob Dylan, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature, October 2016.
The November 2016 issue of World Fertilizer leads with a regional report by BMI Research, UK, on the outlook for the Chinese nitrogen industry to 2020. Whilst the author is clear that China’s position as the world’s dominant producer and consumer of nitrogen fertilizers will continue to endure over this reference period, it is strongly suggested that beyond 2020 its hegemony will be challenged by other regions and nations both in terms of production and usage.
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The catalyst for change will largely be brought about via internal pressures from central Chinese government as it tries to combat the ‘negative side effects of fertilizer usage’ in China. This hinges on both the Chinese industry’s reliance on coal as the key energy source for nitrogen fertilizer production as well as the Chinese agriculture sector’s over reliance on fertilizers for crop production. Which nations fill the void remains to be seen but cheap natural gas in the US, Russia and throughout the Middle East offer overwhelming advantages to producers in these regions, and could well lead to a changing picture in terms of global fertilizer production in the future.
On this same theme, the cover story of this issue on p. 94 details the construction of a unique materials handling facility, a key part of Mosaic’s sulfur re-melter project in Tampa, Florida. The building of this re-melter will fundamentally change the market dynamics for sulfur in North America, as well as further afield.
Change was also a key objective of the first ever Global Fertilizer Day held in London on 13 October 2016, in this case the public’s perception of the fertilizer industry. Timed to take place a couple of days prior to the annual World Food Day, this successful first event quite rightly sought to publicise the positive impact the industry has on the developed and developing world. Statistically fertilizers account for 50% of global food production and are responsible for the sustenance of two out of every five people alive in the world today. Fertilizers change lives and lift millions of people out of poverty and it is quite right that an event such as the Global Fertilizer Day seeks to promote the key role that fertilizers play worldwide. We look forward to seeing how this event develops and informs public opinion in the years ahead.
Following our own successful launch in September, World Fertilizer is hoping to help change the way that information is disseminated across the global fertilizer industry. Whether it is via our regular printed issue, the online digital edition or via the World Fertilizer App, which can be downloaded free of charge, we aim to make World Fertilizer a conduit for information and technology. If you are not currently receiving any of these versions of the magazine, please register here.
This month we are also delighted to announce that our ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) statement is now available from our website or www.abc.org.uk. This statement provides a detailed breakdown of our global circulation and readership and is a guarantee to our valued advertisers that their advert is being seen across the global industry.
We hope you enjoy this issue and welcome your thoughts and comments on both World Fertilizer and the industry in general.