The Impact on Industry and Competitiveness
Chapter 11: The Fertilizer Industry in Developing Countries
The development of the fertilizer industry took place in the developed countries of Western Europe, North America and Japan until the late 1960s. However, in the 1970s and early 1980s, the construction of new plants shifted to locations where cheap natural gas was available, such as countries of the Caribbean and Middle East. In recent years, there has also been a trend towards the production of nitrogen fertilizers in high-demand developing countries such as China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. In this chapter, we present the main findings of our case studies on environmental regulation and fertilizer production in two developing countries with a large fertilizer industry, which are undergoing a restructuring process driven by import penetration and market liberalization (China and Turkey). In the last part of the chapter, we focus on phosphate fertilizers, a sub-sector in which European firms are facing increasing competition from developing countries. After an overall discussion of sectoral trends in the phosphate industry, we examine in more detail the case of Morocco, one of the leading producers of phosphate rock and the main supplier of the European fertilizer industry. Finally, in our concluding remarks, we draw some policy conclusions based on our findings regarding the impact of environmental regulation on industrial restructuring and competitiveness. THE CHINESE FERTILIZER INDUSTRY Introduction China is a developing country with a rural population of 870 million. China’s production of chemical fertilizers is the largest in the world, accounting for approximately 15 percent of total world production. When it comes to...
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