India is the largest country importing Phosphoric acid in the world accounting for over 45% of world trade. The country uses Phosphoric acid primarily for manufacturing of Fertilizers e.g.
Further Phosphoric acid is also used in the non-fertilizer sector of India i.e. as a food additive and acidifying agent in food and beverage industry, as an intermediate for producing phosphates that are utilized for water and metal treatment, for producing chemicals used in pharmaceutical and detergents industries. Out of the various usages, Fertilizer segment consumes more than 90% of Phosphoric Acid in India.
Sources of Imports
Most of the cargo is imported from countries e.g. Morocco, Senegal, Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia etc. Almost all the cargoes are fixed through annual contracts between the supplying nations and the Indian companies and there is very little activity happening in the spot shipping market.
Major importers of Phosphoric Acid are the fertilizer companies which have annual COAs with the supplying nations. Almost all the importing Fertilizer plants are located along the Indian coastline with the western region dominating with the largest number of plants. Accordingly, most of the imports are to the ports on West coast of India, followed by South and then East. Northern region of India controls a very limited share in the Indian phosphoric acid market owing to limited fertilizer production facilities in the region.
India produced 3.14 million tons of DAP and 4.22 million tons of SSP in 2016. Consumption of DAP and SSP fertilizers is expected to continue to grow in the coming years due to increased used in Agriculture production in the country. Although there has been a decline in prices of DAP in the international market in the recent past, luring Indian fertilizer units to import DAP, however, rising Indian production and export of SSP fertilizers to the international market is pushing the demand for phosphoric acid in India. Moreover, surging demand for phosphoric acid in non-fertilizer segment too is continuing to push the demand for imports. According to market studies, it is estimated that Phosphoric acid imports would grow at a CAGR of more than 7% during 2016-2021.