Industrial demand tends to remain stable throughout the year, and it is forecast to rise at 4% annually.

Nitrogen products are used in not only agriculture but also industry: to produce nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, paint, medicine, resins, food additives and industrial explosives, among others.

Industrial demand tends to remain stable throughout the year, which helps to smooth the seasonality of demand from agricultural producers. The main buyers of industrial nitrate products are:

  • manufacturers of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, which require ammonia
  • furniture and timber companies, which use urea to make glue and resin
  • mining companies that use the open-cast method (for coal, iron ore, gold, diamonds, etc), which need ammonium nitrate to make industrial explosives

Over the next five years, the IFA forecasts that industrial demand for nitrogen products will rise by an average of 4% a year, which is equivalent to around 1 million tonnes of nutrient.

One of the most prospective areas of the industrial nitrogen business is ammonium nitrate to make industrial explosives. Global consumption of ammonium nitrate for this purpose is estimated at 7 million tonnes a year, of which Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan account for almost 10%. Given their vast reserves of coal, iron ore, gold and ferrous metals, the three countries represent major potential demand for industrial types of ammonium nitrate. By 2020, their consumption is expected to almost triple, to over 2 million tonnes a year.