The fertilizers market is segmented by nutrients into nitrogenous fertilizers, phosphate fertilizers, and potash fertilizers. The nitrogen fertilizers market was the largest segment of the chemical fertilizers market. In terms of value, nitrogen fertilizers accounted for more than 53% of the market in 2018. By volume, it grew from 104,264 thousand tonnes in 2014 to 111,157 thousand tonnes in 2018 at an annual growth rate of nearly 1.6%. According to a survey conducted by Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll, in 2016, nearly 22% of the farmers increased the use of nitrogen fertilizers during the spring season. The nitrogenous fertilizers market is further segmented into urea, nitrogen – ammonium phosphate, nitrogen – others, nitrogen – NPK, ammonium sulphate, and calcium ammonium nitrate. Within the nitrogen fertilizers market, the urea fertilizers market accounted for the highest share by volume of almost 51,550 thousand tonnes in 2018. The calcium ammonium nitrate fertilizers market accounted for the smallest share of nearly 3,549 thousand tonnes by volume.
While nitrogen fertilizers was the largest segment of the global chemical fertilizers market, the fastest-growing segment to 2022 will be the potash fertilizers market, growing at an annual rate of 5.1%. Major drivers of the potash market segment include economic growth and the adoption of advanced technologies. In terms of volume, the global potash fertilizers market grew from 34,841 thousand tonnes in 2014 to 39,36 thousand tonnes in 2018 at an annual growth rate of about 3%. The smaller size of the potash fertilizers market can be attributed to the weaker impact of potash fertilizers on the environment compared to nitrogenous and phosphate fertilizers, making government regulations less rigorous regarding replacing potash fertilizers in the agriculture industry with organic and bio-fertilizers.