Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/90630
Authors: 
Heckenmüller, Markus
Narita, Daiju
Klepper, Gernot
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
Kiel Working Paper 1897
Abstract: 
Being of crucial importance for agricultural production and also having experienced significant price volatility, phosphate and its future availability have drawn growing at-tention from both academics and the public over the last years. This paper overviews the recent literature and data on the availability of phosphorus and discusses the eco-nomic aspects of phosphate scarcity by describing major price determinants of the global phosphate market. We show that past price fluctuations of phosphate rock and phosphate fertilisers are not a reflection of physical phosphate rock depletion but rather attributable to numerous other demand- and supply-side factors. Given the current re-serve estimates for phosphate rock, neither an exhaustion of global reserves nor a peak event is likely to occur within this century. However, these estimates are subject to a significant degree of uncertainty. Moreover, the global distribution of phosphate production and reserves is highly skewed and has the potential to pose a threat to food security in developing countries through factors such as the volatility of the phosphate rock price or price setting by suppliers with significant market power.
Subjects: 
phosphate scarcity
peak phosphorus
global food security
phosphate market
fertilizers
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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