Published: Sep 11, 2014
Source: Saudi Gazette


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GCC fertilizer sector plays central role in fortifying global food security

The GCC’s export-oriented fertilizer industry is set to play a key role in fortifying global food security, says a new report by the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) and Nexant. 

According to The Role of GCC Fertilizers in Addressing Food Security, upcoming fertilizer capacity additions for ammonia and urea products will be critical for the farmlands in South and South East Asia, highly populous regions which often lack natural resources to produce fertilizers for strengthening agricultural productivity. 

“In addition to gaining valuable export revenues for the region’s economies, fertilizer producers will soon make significant contributions to the global food banks,” said Dr. Abdulwahab Al- Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA. “By 2030, the world will need to feed an estimated 2 billion more people, so fertilizers will be crucial in ensuring that these individuals have access to edible, sufficient and nutritious food.” 

The Gulf’s fertilizer capacity reached 42.7 million tons in 2013, nearly half of which was exported to markets across the world, as per GPCA data. The GCC’s fertilizer sector is also growing: production gained 4 percent from the previous year, while the global fertilizer industry grew by just 1.7 percent in the same period. 

Fertilizer sector growth has been augmented by the GCC’s vast reserves of natural gas, essential for producing ammonia and urea fertilizers. With relatively low domestic demand, the Gulf’s fertilizer exports are set continue to rise in the long term. 

“Due to the region’s arid and desert climate, the GCC has traditionally relied on food imports to feed its population,” Dr. Al- Sadoun added. “However, with the growing trend towards exporting fertilizers to major agricultural regions that have the world’s fastest population growth rates, the Gulf’s leadership can leverage these ties to develop closer relationships with major food producing regions like the Far East and South Asian countries. The growth of the GCC fertilizer industry, therefore, has the potential not only to overcome serious food security challenges, but also to raise the region’s profile as a major trade partner and producer of high- value commodities.” 

The Role of GCC Fertilizers in Addressing Food Security is an in- depth report that surveys major trends across the agriculture, food, energy and petrochemical industries. Jointly produced by the GPCA and Nexant, it will be released at GPCA’s Fertilizer Convention on Sept. 16-18, 2014 in Dubai. 

Now in its fifth edition, the annual conference is set to provide delegates with insights on supply and demand analysis from major markets around the globe, thought leadership from industry experts, and project case studies from the Gulf region and beyond.

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