The global push to produce more food is spurring the growth of the international sulfuric acid market, with the fastest growth in the next decade expected in the Africa and Middle East regions.
The chemical, a strong mineral acid also known as oil of vitriol, is a key ingredient for manufacturing phosphate-based fertilisers.
Increased agricultural fertiliser use – to ramp up global crop production – is set to be a major driver for an expected compounded average growth rate of 3.4% for the sulfuric acid market over the next ten years.
“Consistently growing demand from end-use industries, particularly fertilisers, metal production and processing, and petroleum refining is driving the demand for sulfuric acid,” said an analyst at FMI.
According to the World Bank, more than half of what we eat today is the result of mineral fertiliser use, including phosphate. This reality was really brought home this year when the war between Russia and Ukraine – the producers of 20% of the world’s fertilisers – caused price hikes and necessitated rescue initiatives to protect the continent’s food production.
Based on application, the fertiliser segment is expected to account for more than 60% of the sulfuric acid consumption for the next decade. The Middle East and Africa market is projected to grow at 3.5%, outstripping the global growth rate.
According to the research, stringency in environment regulations is one of the factors that is slowing growth of the sulfuric acid market, along with price increases for raw materials and commodity chemicals.
The overall positive outlook has spurred key producers to increase their production capacity to enhance their market footprint all over the globe and to gain traction in the market.
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