Ammonium nitrate is salt of ammonia and nitric acid. It is a colorless and odorless chemical compound. Ammonium nitrate is commercially available in a crystalline solid form and it can be processed into flakes for specific applications. It is soluble in organic solvents such as water and alcohols. Ammonium nitrate is generally used to make explosives, fertilizers, and as a nutrient in the production of antibiotics and yeast. Ammonium nitrate is hygroscopic in nature and it readily absorbs moisture from air. Ammonium nitrate is generally stored in an air-conditioned warehouse or in sealed bags. It is a prominent fertilizer as the nitrate form in the compound moves readily along with soil water to the plant roots. Moreover, ammonium nitrate is utilized in food preservation, as it can make an instant cold pack. Natural and synthetic are key varieties of the product. The naturally occurring, mineral nitrate is found in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Almost all ammonium nitrate used in the market at present is synthetically manufactured by using Haber’s Process followed by Ostwald Process.
Increase in the demand for fertilizers and explosives is a major driver of the market. Ammonium nitrate is more stable than urea and it is highly used as a fertilizer throughout the globe. Another major driver of the ammonium nitrate market is the rising demand for explosives and gunpowder. However, strict regulations about handling of ammonium nitrate issued jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are projected to pose a threat to the market in the next few years. Ammonium nitrate has been observed as moderately hazardous and this is expected to act as a major restraint of the ammonium nitrate market during the forecast period.
Global Ammonium Nitrate Market: Segmentation
The global ammonium nitrate market can be segmented based on form, application, and region. In terms of form, the ammonium nitrate market can be classified into granular form and powder form. The granular form segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Granular ammonium nitrate acts as a blasting agent and it has heat absorption properties, which plays a highly important role in the fertilizer & explosive manufacturing industry. This is estimated to drive the demand for granular ammonium nitrate during the forecast period.
In terms of application, the global ammonium nitrate market can be classified into fertilizers, explosives, and medicines. The fertilizer segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Low nitrogen emissions and superior stability offered by ammonium nitrate in crop protection along with increasing demand from the agriculture industry for improving nitrogen content of the soil are expected to drive the demand for ammonium nitrate during the forecast period.
Ammonium nitrate is employed for traction across the sports industry for first-aid treatment of injuries. This is because the product contains heat absorption and pain alleviation properties. The medical industry is rising need for manufacturing nitrous oxide benefitting medications. Also, ammonium nitrate is employed to make gunpowder and explosives.
Global Ammonium Nitrate Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of region, the global ammonium nitrate market can be segmented into Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to remain the leading region of the global market during the forecast period. Countries in Asia Pacific are mostly agriculture dependent and this factor is likely to drive the demand for ammonium nitrate in the fertilizers sector in the region. The increasing population, especially in India and China, creates high demand for food, followed by focus on modern farming activities such as hydroponic and rotary crops and agroforestry practices. This is a major factor expected to drive the demand for ammonium nitrate during the forecast period. The market in developed regions such as North America and Europe is expected to witness moderate growth in the next few years, owing to shift in focus on organic fertilizers in these regions.
Additionally, the rising demand for mining explosives in China and India is estimated to propel the ammonium nitrate market in these countries. The ammonium nitrate market in South Africa is expected to witness substantial growth in the near future, with growing presence of quarry operations and mines in the country. High detonation velocity and water resistance properties augment usage of ammonium nitrate in the mining industry in South Africa. Rapidly expanding metal mining base is anticipated to create lucrative opportunities for manufacturers of ammonium nitrate in South Africa in the next few years.
Global Ammonium Nitrate Market: Key Players
The global ammonium nitrate market is fragmented. A large number of companies operate at the global and regional levels. Major companies include Orica, Enaex S.A, CF Industries Holdings, Inc., San Corporation, OSTCHEM Holding Company, EuroChem Group AG, Austin Powder International, Abu Qir Fertilizers Co, Neochim PLC, Fertiberia SA, Uralchem JSC, Vale Fertilizantes, and Dorogobuzh JSC.
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