Posted on September 03, 2015

Qatar's fertilizer market has nearly tripled in the last ten years, resulting in a manufacturing portfolio that places it as the GCC's second highest producer of this commodity, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).

"As governments of this region set their sights firmly on diversifying their economy to include revenue streams aside from oil and gas, Qatar's leadership has spent the last ten years laying the foundation of an export- oriented fertilizer sector," said Dr. Abdulwahab Al- Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA. "The vision of the government of Qatar and investor confidence has resulted in a unique success story, where the industry to rise at an average of 9.4% in this Gulf state during this period, a figure that is higher than the regional growth rate of fertilizer capacity." 

Notably, Qatar also holds a dominant position in the production of urea fertilizers. "Qatar is the largest urea producer in the region, manufacturing 37% of the GCC's production of this commodity. Additionally, QAFCO operates the largest single site ammonia and urea production plant, proving that it is possible to megaprojects of this scale," continued Dr. Al- Sadoun. At 10.7 million tons, Qatar accounts for the second largest share of fertilizer production in the GCC, according to the GPCA's Fertilizers Indicators report. Qatari fertilizer producers have grown at an average of 9.4% for the 2004- 2014 period. This is higher than the regional average growth rate for fertilizers, which rose by 7.1% in the same decade.  

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Meanwhile, fertilizer capacity in the Arabian Gulf grew to 40.8 million tons in 2014, a 3.8% increase from the previous year, earning revenues of US$6.5 billion, according to the report. Looking ahead, the GCC's fertilizer manufacturers can look into diversifying their product portfolio to include specialty fertilizers, advises the GPCA. To date, only 396,000 tons of speciality fertilizers are currently produced in the GCC. "Specialty fertilizers have unique qualities that define them against urea and have characteristics that yield a higher return in the global marketplace and therefore result in greater returns for the producer."

The topic of innovation will be a key focus at the upcoming GPCA Fertilizer Convention. Held of the theme of "Innovating for growth: Ensuring an efficient, sustainable future", the conference will shed light on how the GCC's fertilizer industry can contribute to global food security while embracing an environmentally sustainable future. The Fertilizer Indicators report will be released at the GPCA Fertilizer Convention. Now in its 6th edition, the conference will be held in Dubai from September 14- 16.

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