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Analysis of phosphate import in France

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Phosphate is a sedimentary rock that contains minerals of exploitable phosphates, generally referred to as phosphate fertilizer. One can find 80% phosphate in the extracts of apatite (generic name for hexagonal phosphates).

The word phosphate-enriched fertilizer can be heard frquently in the agricultural sector. Phosphate is a trace element naturally present at many levels. It is used in agricultural manures for the growth of plants. It is an essential nutritive element and is beneficial to man, animals and plants. Just like oil or uranium, phosphate is a product that is in much demand.

Increasing consumption makes it difficlut to find sources of phosphate, and consequently phosphate prices also soar. Multiple and daily consumption has made it a matter of urgency to find other deposits of phosphate.

A study on the consumption pattern associated with phosphate is done here. At present there is a situation of steadily increasing demand and this, coupled with geopolitical issues, has made the process of procurement of phosphate increasingly important.

Described as a scarce resource, the overall rate of increase in the supply of phosphate is slow, but global demand keeps an annual growth rate of 3-4%. The growth in demand for phosphate is higher than supply in the world and this explains the interest in developing chemical industry phosphate.

The reserves are calculated based on global production of phosphate rock that is mainly concentrated in Morocco, China and the United States. It is important to remember that from 1970 to 2000, China was a small producer of phosphate in the world (1700 thousand tonnes in 1970 to 30 000 thousand tons in 1999). Since then the country has cosolidated its position in the sector. The 27 million tons of reserves are barely adequate to maintain industrial production over seventy years.

These reserves are also overwhelmingly 90% or more non-rich phosphate. The growing shortage of resources of phosphate rock may cause a weakening of the industry in China.

Phosphorus as a non-metallic resource is primarily used for the production of phosphate fertilizers, phosphoric acid and phosphate derivatives. The production of phosphate rock phosphate fertilizers represented approximately 70% of the total.

Morocco is the third largest producer of phosphate in the world after the United States and China. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGC), Morocco including the Western Sahara region has the second largest proven reserves of phosphate in the world.

Morocco is the largest exporter of phosphate in the world. The phosphate industry in Morocco is controlled by the Moroccan Phosphate Office through a state monopoly. This is a group specializing in the extraction, beneficiation and marketing of phosphate and its derivatives out of Morocco. This group is the world's largest exporter of phosphate in all its forms.

Apart from China and Morocco, there are other countries producing phosphate rock that are not to be underestimated. Over the years and with the rapid industrialization of emerging economies, one can see the shape of a real war of phosphates which is becoming a major geopolitical course without reaching the threshold issue of oil and uranium.

Tags: Phosphate market, production of phosphate, analysis of import into France

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