Asian fertilizer buyers are actively exploring alternatives to Chinese supplies due to concerns about the reliability of the world's leading exporter.
Analysts predict that China's increased government intervention in exports will make it an even less reliable supplier of fertilizer in 2024.
Since 2021, China, the largest global exporter of phosphate and a significant urea supplier, has implemented measures such as export quotas and stringent inspection requirements to safeguard its domestic market, as reported by Mei Mei Chu and Rajendra Jadhav for Reuters.
Export restrictions have led to a 24% decline in urea exports to 2.8 million metric tons in 2022 compared to the previous year. Although levels have increased this year, they remain below the average from prior years.
Phosphate exports, initially robust, have also been constrained in recent months, causing a shortage in global supply and subsequent price hikes.
Analysts predict that China's increased government intervention in exports will make it an even less reliable supplier in 2024. Josh Linville, director of fertilizer at brokerage StoneX Group Inc., voiced concerns about China's growing unpredictability in the fertilizer market.