The Moroccan phosphate producer and world’s leading phosphate rock exporter is investing in new technology to boost its market share and cut its energy bills
As noted in E&MJ’s most recent report on fertilizer raw materials (June 2016, pp.36-43), the world’s phosphate industry has been afflicted with oversupply — particularly of Chinese fertilizer products — with the end result having been a slump in producer prices. Moroccan phosphate rock concentrate is widely used as the benchmark for world prices, based on material containing 32%-33% P2O5 (70% BPL) on the quayside at the country’s export terminals.
Between September 2014 and July 2016, prices remained stable at between $115 and $123/metric ton (mt), a far cry from the peak of $430/mt achieved in September 2008 or the $188/mt in April 2012. Over the past year, however, the trend has been steadily downhill, with the price slipping below $100/mt in January and hitting $96/mt in April.