Market opportunity

POLY4 has significant market potential and ability to reshape the fertilizer market. We continue to develop markets across the world, through our global sales and marketing programme, making the product widely available via established distribution channels.

The size of the market opportunity for POLY4 is framed in three key areas – as a substitute for existing products, to meet unmet market demand for high-value products and to provide premium performance.

POLY4 commercial development

Sirius Minerals has already signed major offtake agreements with leading commercial organisations in Southeast Asia, North America, Central America and China. The Company has secured take-or-pay offtake agreements totalling 4.4 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of POLY4 sales both into the fertilizer and animal feed markets. In addition, options within existing offtake agreements of 1.15 Mtpa bring the total to 5.5 Mtpa under these agreements, that are for between five to ten years.

The graph below displays various market opportunities for POLY4 globally.

Over 8 M ha of CI- sensitive crops are produced in the US alone. Market opportunity of 55.7* Mtpa in POLY4 equivalent as a premium specification product supplying CI-free K, along with S, Mg and Ca.
Significant contestable market size of 65.9* Mtpa in POLY4 equivalent with high demand for multi-nutrient K2O, S and MgO products. European regulations enforce emission control creating S shortages. POLY4 has the lowest CO2e emission and supplies S.
Market growth opportunity of 33.4* Mtpa in POLY4 equivalent to meet the increased need for S, Mg and Ca and K2O requirement at high inclusion rates in NPK blends.
Market demand forecast of primary substitute fertilizer products expressed in POLY4 equivalent is 104.5 Mtpa. Chinese fertilizer policy provides POLY4 the unique opportunity to be essential part of balanced and sustainable fertilization practices.

* Demand forecast of primary substitute fertilizer products in 2025 by CRU expressed in POLY4 equivalent

Significant market opportunity in the region (including Brazil) of 81.9* Mtpa in POLY4 equivalent to be valuable NPK feedstock supplying K2O, S, Mg and meeting CI-free demand.
Substantial market opportunity in Brazil of 61.7* Mtpa in POLY4 equivalent. Many areas of the region are deficient in S and Mg contained in POLY4. S alone accounts for a plant nutrient deficiency globally of an estimated 60 Mtpa in POLY4 equivalent
Substantial market growth opportunity of 5.03* Mtpa in POLY4 equivalent. Our product can boost yields, even at low application rates, by providing balanced nutrition and improving fertilizer practice.
Significant market growth opportunity of 55.3* Mtpa in POLY4 equivalent to meet unmet demand in CI-fee K2O, S and/or Mg.

Product substitution

POLY4’s unique multi-nutrient content enables a wide range of opportunities for existing fertilizer products substitution. In addition, the demand for multi-nutrient fertilizers continues to grow at the farm gate.

According to analysis by industry specialists the contestable market opportunity for POLY4 as a substitute for existing products will be 376 Mtpa in 2018, far more than the project's 20 Mtpa full production capacity.

Unmet market demand

The farming community increasingly acknowledges the need of balanced fertilization. There is also a significant unmet demand for chloride-free sulphur: 32% of total sulphur consumption is used on chlorine-sensitive crops while supply of chlorine-free sulphur is only 9%.

According to analysis by industry specialists, the increasing demand for key attributes of POLY4, such as its suitability for use on chloride sensitive crops and its ability to address sulphur and magnesium soil deficiencies, accounts for a total 130 Mtpa of POLY4 demand potential.

Product performance

POLY4 is a premium product: it increases yield on broad-acre and high-value crops, improves crop quality and health and soil structure.

Demand for multi-nutrient fertilizers continues to grow and as the performance of POLY4 becomes more widely validated, it is expected that so will its ability to attract a premium.