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Chemical Economics Handbook

Phosphates, Industrial

Published : Feb 01, 2012

The industrial phosphate market is a small but important segment of total phosphate demand and accounts for around 6–8% of global phosphate consumption. The fertilizer and feed markets are the major outlets for the phosphate market. Detergents, which used to be the largest end use for industrial phosphates, have been affected by environmental pressure and have declined significantly. Producers are focusing on creating new markets in food and horticultural applications to counter the decrease in demand from the detergent industry. Another new developmental area is in the production of lithium ion–phosphate batteries, and that would depend on growth in the production of electric vehicles.

The industrial phosphates market was influenced to a large extent by a dramatic rise in raw material prices, especially during 2008–2009. The price of purified phosphoric acid increased dramatically as the result of an increase in the price of phosphate rock, the raw material used for producing the acid. Phosphate rock prices escalated fourfold in 2008. That, coupled with the spike in sulfur prices caused by a supply shortage, along with increasing utility costs, increased the price of phosphate products enormously. Traditionally, phosphate rock producers sold the product at relatively lower prices and value was added by the producer of downstream products. This trend has shifted suddenly, and the maximum value generation has been moved to the phosphate rock producers.

The following pie chart shows consumption of industrial phosphates by major region:

Industrial Phosphates

Consumption fell in 2009 as a result of the global demand downturn for purified phosphoric acid used to produce industrial phosphates. It has since increased to preslowdown levels. In general, the current status of the global phosphate market seems to be somewhat tight, as planned expansions have been delayed and there have been other plant closures. Operating rates are projected to be at high levels in the near future. After 2012, when supply from Ma'aden (Saudi Arabia) increases along with new supply from Morocco, the market is expected to ease. If current demand continues to persist, it could offset the new supply in the future.

Industrial phosphates are growing faster in developing markets such as Latin America and Asia, where demand for convenience foods and beverages, ready-to-use baking mixes, packaged meat, and seafood products is increasing as a result of the increasing number of middle class consumers.

Overall growth is expected to continue on a global scale in line with GDP growth. In Europe, Japan and the United States, a decrease in the detergent segment and moderate growth in other applications is expected, whereas for China, South America, the Middle East and India, growth is expected to be healthy, driven by increasing use of phosphate-based detergents.

Table of Contents

Summary
Introduction
Manufacturing Processes
Thermal Phosphoric Acid
Solvent Extraction of Wet-Process Phosphoric Acid
WPA Extraction within Water-Insoluble Solvents
IMI Cleaning Process
Rhodia Process
PRAYON Process
Albright & Wilson Process
WPA Extraction Within Partially Water-Soluble Solvents
WPA Extraction Within Water-Soluble Solvents
Chemical Purification of Wet-Process Phosphoric Acid (WPA)
Sodium Phosphates
Calcium Phosphates
Potassium Phosphates
Environmental Issues
Supply and Demand by Region
United States
Overview
Industrial Phosphoric Acid
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Production
Consumption
Food and beverage
Metal and plastic finishing
Detergent builders
Specialty agricultural products
Water treatment
Other
Price
Trade
Imports
Exports
Sodium Phosphates
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Production
Consumption
Food and beverage
Detergent builders
Water treatment
Metal and plastic finishing
Dentifrices
Other
Price
Trade
Imports
Exports
Calcium Phosphates
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Food and beverage
Dentifrices
Other
Price
Trade
Potassium Phosphates
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Production
Consumption
Specialty agricultural products
Water treatment
Detergent builders
Food and beverage
Dentifrices
Other
Price
Trade
Ammonium and Aluminum Phosphates
Producing Companies
Consumption
Specialty agricultural products
Fire extinguishers
Food and beverage
Forest fire fighting
Other
Aluminum phosphates
Price
Trade
Canada
Producing Companies
Consumption
Price
Trade
Imports
Exports
Mexico
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Price
Trade
Brazil
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Price
Trade
Western Europe
Overview
Industrial Phosphoric Acid
Producing Companies
Consumption
Trade
Imports
Exports
Sodium Phosphates
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Sodium tripolyphosphate
Other
Trade
Imports
Exports
Calcium Phosphates
Producing Companies
Consumption
Trade
Potassium Phosphates
Producing Companies
Consumption
Trade
Ammonium Phosphates
Price
Commonwealth Of Independent States
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Africa and Middle East
Producing Companies
Trade
Japan
Producing Companies
Industrial Phosphoric Acid
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Sodium Phosphates
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Calcium Phosphates
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Potassium Phosphates
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Ammonium Phosphates
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Price
China
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Consumption
STPP
Other
Price
Trade
India
Producing Companies
Consumption
Detergents
Pesticides and Agrochemicals (nonfertilizers)
Other
Price
Other Asia
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