India complex fertilizer market is highly competitive and concentrated with top 5 players comprising for over ~% of the market share, in terms of revenue in FY’2017. In terms of complex fertilizer production, the top 5 players accounted for about ~% of market share as of FY’2017. There are about 13 companies (3 public, 1 cooperative and 9 private companies) engaged in the production of complex fertilizer in India.
India fertilizer industry is of very critical importance to the Indian Economy as it manufacturers raw material for agriculture purposes, which is the major occupation of the country. Agriculture is livelihood to 58% of the country’s population and contributes up to 14% to the economy. The country has second largest arable land and is partly self-sufficient in meeting its nitrogen fertilizers, but it is primarily dependent on imports for its potash and phosphate needs. India has limited amount of rock phosphate of low grade which can only be utilized for production of SSP. The fertilizer industry is highly regulated and monitored by the Government of India. India has 21 units which produce DAP and complex fertilizers as of FY’2017.
The monsoon in India is closely watched for agricultural activities as the agriculture and fertilizer sector is highly dependent on monsoons. Straight fertilizers such as Urea and DAP are highly subsidized in the country by the Indian government. In the case of complex fertilizers, the share in total subsidy has been on a declining trend due to partial decontrol of the sale price. Consumption of complex fertilizers declined at a CAGR of ~% during the period FY’2012-FY’2017, whereas, production grew marginally at a CAGR of ~% during FY’2012-FY’2017. Monsoon, on which a major part of agriculture depends, was erratic and inconsistent. Furthermore, decline in prices of complex fertilizers coupled with slump in consumption resulted in decline of the complex fertilizers market in the country.
India imported about ~ thousand MT of NPK fertilizers during 2016, majorly from Russia. Imports declined in 2016 by as much as ~% as compared to 2015. Incline in domestic production of NPK fertilizers and lesser monsoon rainfall resulted in a decline in import demands during 2016. Imports of NPKs have been heavily dependent on the agro-climatic conditions of the country. Hence, imports have registered sharp incline and/or decline in the last few years.
Russia was the biggest exporters of NPK fertilizers to India as of 2016, contributing about ~% of the overall NPK imports of the country (in terms of volume). Latvia, Estonia and China were other major import destinations for India and accounted for ~%, ~% and ~% of the total NPK imports, respectively in 2016.
Granulated/fused form of complex fertilizers was widely used in India such that about ~% of all complex fertilizers utilized in the country were of granulated or fused form. Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL), Coromandel International and Zuari Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited are the only companies known to have invested and established blending plant facilities for customized NPK production. However, the production capacities of these plants are very small and farmers are reluctant in experimenting new grades of NPKs. TCL was the first company in India to establish blending plant facility at Babrala, Uttar Pradesh in 2009. Major blended NPK grades sold include NPK 10-18-25, NPK 7-20-18 and NPK 19-19-19
Coromandel international was the market leader and comprised for ~% market share in FY’2017, in terms of revenue. The company produced around 2.4 million MT of complex fertilizers during FY’2017. IFFCO emerged as the second largest player in this space and comprised for ~% market in 2017. Other prominent players included Paradeep Phosphates, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited, Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore, Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited which comprised for market shares of ~%, ~%, ~%, ~% and ~%, respectively in FY’2017.
The Direct Transfer Benefit will soon be deployed across the country from 2018 onwards, since the pilot projects have indicated a success. The Point of Sales (PoS) machines will capture details of the farmer including Aadhaar number, details of the retailer, product purchased, farm land in which the commodity is used, health of the soil, land ownership details if available and the opening and closing stock of every retailer. This will help to bring soil health in focus and curb any pilferages and leakages in the subsidy reimbursement process as every sale made will be recorded in the POS machine. The process will streamline and enable in quick subsidy disbursal to the manufacturers within weeks and it will ensure the fertilizer is received by the farmer himself. Timely outgo of the subsidy will further revive the profits of the companies and also help in reducing the working capital pressures in the long run. Several companies including the likes of Coromandel International, Paradeep Phosphates and Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore have announced investments to increase their production capacity of complex fertilizers.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications