Key Market Overview:
Phosphoric Acid Market size was valued at USD 48.84 Billion in 2022, accounting for a CAGR growth of 3.6% during the forecast period (2023-2030), and the market is projected to be valued at USD 67.44 Billion by 2030.
Phosphoric acid is a mineral acid with the chemical formula H3PO4. It is a clear, colorless liquid with a syrupy consistency and a highly acidic taste. Furthermore, the wet process is by far the most common route for the production of phosphoric acid and is commonly used in the production of phosphate fertilizers. In the wet process, phosphoric acid is produced by reacting sulfuric acid (H2SO4) with naturally occurring phosphate rock. The reaction also forms calcium sulfate (CaSO4), commonly referred to as gypsum which is further separated by filtration.
Many companies focus on the expansion of their production facility to improve the efficiency and sustainability of phosphoric acid production processes. For instance, OCP Group, with its German and Belgian partners, Budenheim and Prayon announced the launch of a new plant. The new plant will produce purified phosphoric acid and will be operated by its subsidiary Euro Maroc Phosphore (EMAPHOS). The production capacity of EMAPHOS will double from 140,000 metric tons per year to 280,000 metric tons per year. This, in turn, has propelled to increase the growth of the market. Geographically, the Middle East & Africa is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the phosphoric acid market during the forecast period. This is because the region particularly, countries such as Morocco and Tunisia has large reserves of phosphate rock, which is the primary raw material for the production of phosphoric acid.
- Phosphoric acid is a key ingredient in the production of phosphate fertilizers, which are used to enhance crop yields. This increasing demand for phosphate fertilizers is driving the growth of the phosphoric acid market.
- Phosphoric acid is used as an acidifying agent and flavor enhancer in a variety of food and beverage products, including soft drinks, jams, and cheeses. The increasing demand for processed food and beverages is driving the growth of the phosphoric acid market.
- The use of alternative fertilizers, such as organic and bio-fertilizers offer a different approach to crop management and nutrient supply as they are derived from natural sources. This limit the demand for phosphate fertilizers and, in turn, the demand for phosphoric acid.
- The production of phosphoric acid is associated with environmental concerns, such as water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, regulations on environmental protection increased the cost of production. Hence, hamper the growth of the market.
With increasing awareness about environmental sustainability, there is a growing demand for sustainable agriculture practices. These environmental concerns present an opportunity for companies to increase the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices. For instance, phosphoric acid can be used in conjunction with sustainable agriculture practices, such as precision farming and crop rotation, to improve crop yields and reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers.
Phosphoric Acid Report Coverage:
|Market Size in 2030 (USD Billion)
|Orthophosphoric Acid, Pyrophosphoric Acid, and Metaphosphoric Acid
|Wet Process, Thermal Process, and Dry Kiln Process
|Food Grade and Technical Grade
|Fertilizers and Detergents, Flame Retardants and Fire Extinguishers, Animal Feed, Plant Nutrition, Food Additives (Preservatives and Colorants,) and Other
|Water Treatment, Metal Finishing, Construction, Food & Beverage Industry, and Others
|North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
|OCP Group, EuroChem Group, Solvay S.A., Innophos, Inc., Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL), Desmet Ballestra Group, Aditya Birla Group, LANXESS AG, Nutrien Ltd., and Prayon SA
The type segment is categorized into orthophosphoric acid, pyrophosphoric acid, and metaphosphoric acid. In 2022, the orthophosphoric acid segment accounted for the highest market share in the phosphoric acid market. This is because orthophosphoric acid is the most commonly used form of phosphoric acid in various applications such as fertilizers, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and water treatment.
Pyrophosphoric acid has superior chelating and sequestering properties compared to other phosphoric acids, which makes it a preferred choice among industries. Further, it has a wide range of applications such as food additives, detergent builders, water treatment chemicals, and metal surface treatment. Hence, pyrophosphoric acid is expected to be the fastest-growing segment in the market during the forecast period.
The process segment is categorized into the wet process, thermal process, and dry kiln process. In 2022, the wet process segment accounted for the highest market share in the phosphoric acid market. This process is the most commonly used method for producing phosphoric acid and it involves the reaction of phosphate rock with sulfuric acid to form phosphoric acid, which is then purified and concentrated. The wet process is preferred because it is relatively simple and requires less energy compared to other processes like the thermal process and the dry kiln process. These above-mentioned factors contribute to the dominance of the segment.
However, the thermal process is expected to be the fastest-growing segment in the market as the thermal process of phosphoric acid comprises much higher purity and is used in the production of high-grade chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food products, detergents, and other non-fertilizer products.
The grade segment is categorized into food grade and technical grade. The technical grade segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022. This is because technical grade phosphoric acid has a wide range of applications including, in the steel industry, water-soluble fertilizers, and as a flame retardant in the production of plastics and textiles, and fire extinguishers.
Food-grade phosphoric acid is commonly used as an acidulant in the food and beverage industry to improve the acidity of products and enhance their flavor. It is also used as a preservative, antioxidant, and emulsifier in various food and beverage products. Hence, food grade is expected to be the fastest-growing segment over the forecast period.
The application segment is categorized into fertilizers and detergents, flame retardants and fire extinguishers, animal feed, plant nutrition, food additives (preservatives and colorants,) and others. The fertilizers and detergents segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022. This is because phosphoric acid is primarily used as a raw material for the production of phosphate fertilizers, which are extensively used in the agricultural industry to enhance crop productivity. Detergents also use phosphoric acid as a key ingredient in their production and the increasing demand for detergents and cleaning agents is further contributing to the growth of this segment.
However, food additives are expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period due to the increasing use of phosphoric acid as a food additive in form of a preservative and colorant in various food and beverage products. Additionally, the growing trend toward convenience food and beverage products is also expected to drive the growth of the food additives segment in the phosphoric acid market.
The end-user segment is categorized into water treatment, metal finishing, construction, food & beverage industry, and others. In 2022, the construction end-use segment accounted for the highest market share in the phosphoric acid market. This is due to the increasing use of phosphoric acid in the production of phosphoric acid-based cement, which is a major construction material.
Phosphoric acid is used in the food and beverage industry as a food additive for its ability to act as a pH adjuster, flavor enhancer, and preservative. Further, the increasing demand for processed and packaged food products is driving the demand for phosphoric acid. Hence, the food & beverage industry is expected to be the fastest-growing segment in the phosphoric acid market during the forecast period.
By region, the market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. In 2022, Asia Pacific accounted for the highest market share in the phosphoric acid market. This is mainly due to the large and growing agricultural sector in countries like China and India, which are major consumers of phosphoric acid for the production of fertilizers.
However, Middle East & Africa is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the market. This is driven by the increasing demand for phosphoric acid from the region’s growing agricultural sector, as well as the presence of large phosphate reserves in countries like Morocco and Tunisia. Additionally, the region is becoming a hub for phosphoric acid production, with several new plants and expansions planned in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Phosphoric Acid Market Competitive Landscape:
The phosphoric acid market is highly competitive, with several large players and numerous small and medium-sized enterprises. These companies have strong research and development capabilities and a strong presence in the market through their extensive product portfolios and distribution networks. The market is characterized by intense competition, with companies focusing on expanding their product offerings and increasing their market share through mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships. The key players in the market include–
- OCP Group
- EuroChem Group
- Solvay S.A.
- Innophos, Inc.
- Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL)
- Desmet Ballestra Group
- Aditya Birla Group
- LANXESS AG
- Nutrien Ltd.
- Prayon SA
- In March 2022, IFFCO Paradeep plant made a remarkable accomplishment by producing 805,000 tonnes of P2O5, making it the only phosphoric acid plant worldwide to achieve such a significant production volume by a single plant.
- In August 2021, EuroChem acquired the Serra do Salitre phosphate project in Brazil at a value of USD 410 million, which is aimed at enhancing the company’s distribution capabilities in the region.
- In May 2021, the Desmet Ballestra Group acquired Buss ChemTech AG from its shareholders, highlighting the company’s commitment to expanding its presence in the phosphoric acid market.
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