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At the meeting of Spring nitrogen fertilizer market situation analysis in 2023, Wei Yong, director of the Information and Marketing Department of the China Nitrogen Fertilizer Industry Association (CNFA), made a comprehensive analysis of the economic operation of nitrogen fertilizer production in China in 2022, and made a prediction in 2023. Wei Yong said that China's nitrogen fertilizer supply and demand will be basically balanced in 2022, and it is expected that nitrogen fertilizer consumption will still increase in 2023, but the overall supply and demand will remain balanced.
Wei Yong pointed out that the economic operation of nitrogen fertilizer production in China in 2022 mainly reflected four characteristics: first, the production capacity of synthetic ammonia and urea hit the bottom and rebounded, still developing towards pressurized coal gasification and large-scale production; The second is to increase production, increase operating rates, increase consumption, and basically balance supply and demand; Third, export restrictions have led to a significant decline in export volume; Fourth, although the price has reached a new high, the increase is lower than the increase in raw material prices.
As for the supply and demand of nitrogen fertilizer in 2022, in terms of the production capacity, according to the statistics of CNFA, China's urea production capacity in 2022 was 66.34 million tons, an increase of 600000 tons or 0.9% year-on-year. The urea production capacity rebounded from the bottom and increased. In 2022, the concentration of urea production capacity has reached a high level, with the urea production capacity of over 500000 tons reaching 85%, an increase of 0.6% over the previous year. Wei Yong believes that urea production capacity of over 500000 tons may be the main growth direction in the future.
From the perspective of imports and exports, the proportion of nitrogen fertilizer imports in China's nitrogen fertilizer consumption in 2022 is very small. From January to December, the cumulative imports were 122000 tons (net), mainly composed of composite (mixed) fertilizers, with little impact on China's nitrogen fertilizer consumption and market; However, due to the introduction of export laws and inspection policies, nitrogen fertilizer exports have been hindered to some extent, and the export volume of nitrogen fertilizer significantly declined in 2022.
According to estimates by the CNFA, China's apparent consumption of nitrogen fertilizer in 2022 was 36.387 million tons (net), showing an increase of 8.1% year-on-year. The apparent consumption of urea was 54.787 million tons (in kind), an increase of 8.7% year-on-year. Wei Yong said that although the production of nitrogen fertilizer and the operating rate increased in 2022, the supply and demand of nitrogen fertilizer remained basically balanced last year due to the growth of nitrogen fertilizer consumption.