The global potassium liquid fertilizer market size was valued at USD 2,255.5 million in 2022. It is expected to reach USD 3,570.3 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Liquid potassium fertilizers are designed to give plants the nutrients they need during the early stages of growth. When seeding or transplanting new plants, these fertilizers are frequently used to promote their growth and general health. There are a variety of liquid potassium fertilizers, but they all serve the same purpose: to jumpstart plant growth. Plants should absorb these nutrients through leaf pores and roots. Rich in growth hormones and micronutrients, they are frequently used to cultivate crops like maize. They appear to function as a catalyst, enhancing plant nutrient uptake.
The rise in the adoption of precision farming and protected agriculture, as well as the rising demand for better high-efficiency fertilizers, are anticipated to be the primary growth drivers of the potassium liquid fertilizers market during the forecast period. In addition, the rise in environmental concerns and the rapid expansion of greenhouse vegetable production is anticipated to drive the demand for potassium liquid fertilizers. In addition, the increased adoption of precision farming and protected agriculture is expected to support the growth of the potassium liquid fertilizers market. On the other hand, the improved handling costs and lack of farmer awareness regarding application practices are anticipated to hinder the market's expansion during the forecast period.
Despite the global decline in arable land, there is a rising global demand for food, which has dramatically increased the use of high-efficiency fertilizers, such as liquid potassium fertilizers, in agriculture. The total amount of nutrients supplied by either granular or liquid fertilizers for a specific plant nutrient application is technically similar. However, liquid fertilizer allows for easy and precise application, making it more efficient than granular fertilizers, which can be dropped in patterns throughout the fields that are not always uniform. Furthermore, liquid fertilizers can penetrate the soil more thoroughly and disperse more evenly, providing crops with an even, consistent coating that ensures all plants receive the same nutrients regardless of location. Additionally, it can be applied using the irrigation system and requires no heavy machinery. It is also simpler to use the appropriate concentration because of this.
Additionally, unlike with granular fertilizers, there is no need to protect workers from dust inhalation. Compared to their granular counterparts, liquid potassium fertilizers allow plants to access nutrients more quickly after being applied to the soil. It is particularly well suited to encourage root formation early in the growing season. The demand for liquid potassium fertilizers is rising due to their quick action, greater control, and versatility throughout the season.
Liquid fertilizers can produce yields at an affordable price in various agro-climatic conditions. Potassium liquid fertilizers ensure crops and plants get the nutrients they need when, where, and with minimal waste. High-efficiency fertilizers are driving demand for potassium liquid fertilizers. Liquid potassium fertilizers are the most advanced for crops. According to a 2019 UN report, the world's population will grow by 2 billion in the next 30 years, reaching 9.7 billion in 2050. Implementing nutrient management is necessary to end chronic hunger. Potassium liquid fertilizers increase yield. The liquid-applied solution would provide crop nutrients and potassium during spring planting. Liquid potassium fertilizer improves access to potassium for germinating corn seeds. Future demand may also be influenced by the need to reduce nutrient loss's environmental impact. Growing environmental concerns demand high-efficiency potassium fertilizers. This, along with protected agriculture practices, precision farming, and greenhouse vegetable production, should fuel market growth. Consequently, the demand for liquid potassium fertilizer is expected to rise annually.
Since the cost of raw materials is a significant expense in the production of liquid fertilizer, it also contributes significantly to the price of the potassium fertilizer market. Other factors contributing to high energy prices include rising labor costs, fluctuating raw material prices, and increasing transportation expenses. Due to the high cost of installing and storing liquid fertilizers due to their water-soluble nature, the market is expanding slowly. Farmers are looking for alternatives to provide nutrients for their high-yielding crops as the cost of fertilizers rises. As a result, there is less of a need for liquid fertilizers. High energy costs translate into high ammonia costs, which could reduce global consumption and production. Fertilizer imports are expensive because of the additional import duty. As a result, rising raw material costs are a barrier to expanding the potassium liquid fertilizer sector.
Potassium deficiency is one of the main factors that restrict plant growth. Plant performance is adversely affected by imbalanced potassium application in addition to deficiency. Additionally, farmers are switching to high-efficiency fertilizers due to rising costs. The need to address deficiencies and the increasing popularity of high-efficiency fertilizers, the market for potassium liquid fertilizers may experience growth in the years to come.
The global potassium liquid fertilizer market is segmented by nutrient, application, ingredient, and mode of application.
Based on nutrient type, the global potassium liquid fertilizer market is segmented into sulfate of potash, potassium acetate, potassium chloride, potassium nitrate, potassium carbonate, potassium citrate, and potassium formate.
The potassium chloride segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period. Potassium chloride has a salt index of 116.2 and 60% K20. The most common K fertilizer is potassium chloride, which is used because it is relatively inexpensive and contains more K than most other sources (50-52% K (60-63% K2O) and 45-47% Cl). Potassium chloride of an exceptionally pure grade can be dissolved in fluid fertilizers or sprayed using irrigation systems. The most crucial factor may be salt concentrations around the dissolving fertilizer. Potassium chloride is also used in gardening in developed nations, primarily for growing horticultural crops on a small scale in backyard kitchen gardens. When liquid potassium chloride is applied to acid-phobic crops, particularly brassicas, cole crops, and cruciferous plants, it is discovered that a good yield is produced. Potassium chloride, which contains a lot of chlorine, is also used to fertilize grassland and crops like wheat and corn.
Potassium deficiency is difficult to detect because different plants and crops exhibit it differently. Chlorosis at the leaf margins and necrosis are the first signs of potassium deficiency in the plant's lower part. To defend crops from pest and weed attacks, potassium sulfate is primarily used in fertilizer production for the agricultural sector. There are indications that SOP is effective in greenhouse studies for commercial-scale wheat production. The modifications were noted due to the application of SOP, which led to larger grains, more robust roots, and improved drought tolerance. Additionally, it enhances cellulose synthesis and lessens lodging in wheat plants grown in sandy, loamy soil in a greenhouse environment. As a result of their ongoing research and efforts, market players are introducing advanced input products in response to the rising demand for high-quality fresh produce, which is predicted to propel the market growth during the forecast period.
Based on application, the global potassium liquid fertilizer market is segmented into fertigation and foliar.
The fertigation segment owns the highest market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. The fertigation is subdivided into Grains and Cereals, Pulses and Oilseeds, Commercial Crops, Fruits and Vegetables, and Turfs and Ornamentals. The largest market for the fertigation of liquid potassium fertilizers is cereals and grains. In plants, potassium is a highly mobile element that moves from aging to developing tissue. Crops lacking in potassium grow slowly and have weak root systems. Cereal crops, such as corn and small grain, frequently have weak stalks and lodging. Lack of potassium in wheat crops can cause noticeable differences in the roots' size, number, length, and health. Beginning with older leaves, they develop a propensity for lodging, smaller kernels, and, in advanced stages, withering or burning the leaf tips and margins. Although potassium is difficult for organic matter to absorb, it helps enhance rice quality. The timing of fertigation and field harvesting determines paddy yield and quality.
The foliar is subdivided into grains and cereals, pulses and oilseeds, commercial crops, fruits and vegetables, and turfs and ornamentals. Potassium nitrate (KNO3) applied topically is a potent tool that improves both the quality and quantity of harvests. Cereals that have received foliar spraying typically have a higher nutritional content. Increased total soluble solids (TSS) have resulted in higher levels of sugar, proteins, vitamins, and minerals in harvested crops. It has been discovered that applying foliar potassium nitrate (KNO3) at 1.5% and 2.0% solutions 40 and 60 days after rice planting improves the grain content and increases paddy yield. In South Asian wheat-growing regions, it is customary to apply a total dose of potassium when planting wheat. Wheat yield and quality are significantly influenced by potassium. Due to irrigation restrictions and high production costs, Chinese wheat production does not use soil-based potassium fertilizer applications.
Based on ingredient type, the global potassium liquid fertilizer market is segmented into organic and synthetic.
The synthetic segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.5% during the forecast period. Due to farmers switching from soy to maize farming, the demand for liquid potassium fertilizers is rising steadily globally. Crop costs are also coming down. As a result of the crop's higher fertilizer needs compared to maize and other oilseed and pulse crops, soybean is becoming less profitable. The synthetic potassium thiosulfate has a purity of K2S2O3 typically between 49% and 51%, is neutral to essential liquid, and contains 25% potash and 17% sulfur. A wide variety of ornamental, turf, greenhouse, and crops can be treated with potassium thiosulfate. There are also liquid potassium fertilizers free of hydroxide and chloride, making them safer for soil and plants. Thus, to meet the producer group's ongoing demand for liquid potassium fertilizers, the major manufacturers are developing more cutting-edge products to boost crop production. This trend is probably driving the current market.
The use of inorganic liquid fertilizers is generating growing environmental and regulatory concerns. The soil's health is diminished due to nitrate leaching and erosion. The market for liquid organic fertilizers, including liquid potassium fertilizer, is growing due to growing concerns about the residue of liquid inorganic fertilizers in crops. In organic vegetable gardens, potassium can be obtained from various organic potash sources. Agricultural use of greensand, kelp meal, and hardwood ashes are all excellent sources of organic potassium. During critical growth stages, plants in organic systems frequently struggle to access enough soluble potassium, which can lead to underdeveloped fruit and grain and drastically lower marketable yields. An efficient form of potassium is organic potassium, which is 30% potassium citrate. It is used to supplement the soil-based potassium that crops receive from it.
Based on the mode of application, the global potassium liquid fertilizer market is segmented into starter solution, foliar application, fertigation, injection into the soil, and ariel application.
The foliar application segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. In recent years, corn and soybean crops in the U.S. have relied more on foliar nutrients like liquid potassium. A prescription-based foliar fertilizer mixture increased soybean yields at three of 20 sites (15%) in 2016 and 2017. Only a tiny portion of the total K requirement can be met by foliar applications of liquid potassium fertilizer, which is more expensive than soil application. Soluble K must be used to prevent salt from scorching the leaves. This market's expansion may need to be improved by the high potash requirements and the crop's low potassium sensitivity.
Fertigation was created due to the forced relocation of agriculture to new locations that were less suitable for traditional flood irrigation or canal irrigation methods due to the global water shortage for agricultural use and increased urbanization. Large quantities of potassium are exported from the field due to the high potassium contents found in fresh vegetables, fruits, leaves, tubers, and root crops that have been harvested. A constant supply of potassium is needed to ensure plant growth, quality, and yield during fertigation. During the study, these advantages are accelerating the market's growth.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
The global potassium liquid fertilizer market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period. The agriculture industry consumes the most water, making up about 55% of the total water used in China, where nearly half of the country's farmland is irrigated. The highest crop production in China is maize, especially in North and Northeast China, where groundwater is frequently the primary source of irrigation. Even though a large portion of China's water is so contaminated, untreated wastewater is still used to irrigate vast quantities of grains, vegetables, and fruits. Lack of clean water in the nation's rivers, lakes, and sinking water tables forces farmers to frequently use water tainted with heavy metals and nitrogen to grow food. This is seen to have an impact on irrigation systems and makes fertigation challenging. A high crop yield is aided by the soil having an adequate K supply. K deficiency in the soil is one-factor limiting agricultural production in China, and most potassium fertilizer is imported. Therefore, applying potassium fertilizer would be necessary to increase agricultural output while addressing K deficiency, increasing demand.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period. Calcium and magnesium dissolved solids affect water hardness. Calcium and magnesium are plant nutrients that require between 100 and 150 mg/L hardness. Indiana, Las Vegas, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania have hard water. Before adding fertilizer, all irrigation water sources must be tested for hardness. The application of potassium fertilizers is determined by crop salt tolerance and deficiency. Potash fertilizers are made from potassium salt, calcium, magnesium, and sodium. These fertilizers contain calcium, magnesium, and potassium, benefiting farmers with soft irrigation water. Due to mutual benefits, the demand for liquid potassium fertilizers is expected to rise.
Most Germans use potassium chloride. The country has increased production in response to rising global salt demand, making it one of the leading potassium chloride producers and exporters. K+S AG, one of Germany's largest producers, reduced liquid potassium fertilizer production by 300,000 tonnes in 2019. China's ban on raw material imports has worsened the global market situation. This could slow the development of liquid potassium fertilizer. As domestic demand rises, the company will increase its production capacity. Groundwater and surface water are irrigation sources. The country has hard water. Due to unfavorable climate and weather, irrigation is crucial in many areas. Along with other inputs, crop production requires efficient water use. Farmers use cutting-edge equipment like drip irrigation to conserve water. Due to this and the efficiency of drip irrigation, liquid potassium fertilizer use is expected to rise.
Brazilian agricultural exports and output have consistently increased, even for "new" products like peanuts, potatoes, and other "new" crops. The need for fertilizer has increased due to this increase in production. Soybean crops require a lot of potassium (K). As a result, the country expects rising demand for liquid potassium fertilizers. Brazil's management of K fertilization faces numerous complex edaphic challenges. Many areas have acidic soils. As a result, K+ ions are quickly removed from the rhizosphere, requiring additional K application doses to satisfy crop needs. This shows the rising demand for liquid potassium fertilizers because of their effectiveness.
Some of the potassium-based liquid fertilizers used in the nation are potassium, chloride or muriate of potash (MOP), potassium sulfate, and potassium nitrate. Recent studies show that the nation's farming practices remove potassium from the soil. Therefore, farmers are increasingly using potassium-based fertilizers to increase agricultural productivity in the country by balancing the potassium content of the soil. A quarter to thirty percent of the nation's agricultural output is supported by irrigation, according to the 2018 Water Research Commission Report. Both groundwater and surface water is used for irrigation. As the country's groundwater has soluble calcium and magnesium, it is, by nature, very hard. This may impact the plant's health. The country's farmers are also looking for new technologies, such as drip irrigation, to ensure efficient fertilizer use. It is anticipated that this will lead to a rise in potassium liquid fertilizers, which could accelerate market expansion.
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