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Heavy metals in the European phosphates market

The Client is a leading supplier of phosphate rock and phosphate fertilizers to the European market. Conscious of proposed regulations to restrict heavy metals content in fertilizers sold in the European Union, the Client's strategy team requested that CRU Consulting research and model the impact on the European fertilizer market of the introduction of varying levels of heavy metals restrictions including cadmium, arsenic and lead in order support the Client with their market planning.

Our Reccomendation
Having conducted the analysis, our model identified which markets would be most impacted by the various levels of proposed heavy metals restrictions by the European Commission.

Our team began the exercise by mapping the entire phosphate supply chain (phosphate rock; phosphoric acid; phosphate fertilizers including DAP, MAP, TSP, SSP and NPKs) through each member country of the European Economic Area utilising the CRU Fertilizer Team's comprehensive suite of data. Undertaking this analysis gave the Client a detailed understanding of the movement of material through the entire chain from rock source through to individual phosphate fertilizer types consumed in individual markets.

The Consulting team then profiled the ultimate sources of phosphate rock to the European market (accounting for material supplied directly as rock as well as acid and finished product fertilizers) using information from CRU's Phosphate Rock Cost Report and research from available information on heavy metals content in individual phosphate rock deposits around the world.

Working with industry experts, our team then calculated the pass-through rates of individual heavy metals from phosphate rock through to phosphate fertilisers accounting for the various production processes known to be utilised along the supply chain. This enabled the team to map and model the pass-through of heavy metals from individual rock sources through to the fertilisers consumed in individual European markets.

The Client found the study to be highly insightful, which enabled their strategy team to understand how the proposed rule changes would affect the European market and begin drafting plans to adapt to future market changes.

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