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Controlled-release Fertilizers Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Slow-release, Coated & Encapsulated, and Nitrogen Stabilizers), Application (Cereals, Oilseeds & Pulses, Fruits & Vegetables, & Others), and Regional Forecasts, 2019-2032

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101973



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The global controlled-release fertilizer market size was valued at USD 2.3 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 5.89 Billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.79% during the forecast period based on our analysis in the existing report. North America dominated the global market with a share of 44.78% in the year 2018.

According to the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO), controlled-release fertilizers, commonly known as CRFs, are fertilizers that contain plant nutrients in a form that can be utilized by the plant at certain time intervals (cannot be immediately absorbed). The nutrient release rate pattern in these fertilizers is specifically designed to meet the changing nutrient requirements of crops. Controlled-release fertilizers are getting rapid recognition as effective nutrient management tools for food as well as non-food crops in the global marketplace.

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The controlled-release fertilizers market is driven by the growing demand for high-efficiency fertilizers that can fulfill the nutrients requirements as well as uplift nutrient uptake within the crop. The rising world population, coupled with the increasing adoption of smart farming products and techniques by farmers, is expected to drive the global controlled-release fertilizers market.


“Robust Research & Development Activities on Polymer Coatings for Fertilizers to Support Growth of Controlled-release Fertilizers Market”

The global market for controlled-release fertilizers or slow-acting fertilizers is fueled by the increase in research activities on the development of low-cost or affordable polymer coatings to produce encapsulated or coated controlled-release fertilizers/CRFs. Major market players based in both developed and developing markets are increasing their research & innovation expenditure to innovate and come up with cost-effective and multi-purpose (that can be utilized in multiple crops) CRFs. The increasing prevalence of crop diseases due to nutrient deficiency within them is also boosting the demand for effective controlled-release fertilizers.

The anticipation of the upcoming environmental and economical crisis in the forthcoming years is motivating consumers (farmers, agriculturists, others) to improve fertilizer uses to increase nutrient uptake within crops and contribute to decreasing environmental stress and concerns. However, the lack of efficient regulations for controlled-release fertilizers, especially in the developing economies may hamper the CRF fertilizers market growth during the forecast years.

“Increasing Support to Controlled-release Fertilizers by Government”

In developing economies, where the population is growing at a rapid rate, the concern regarding food security has increased; This is projected to contribute to increasing the demand for controlled-release fertilizers within these economies. Increased governmental support to smart fertilizers which majorly include controlled-release and slow-release fertilizers, and presentation of high subsidy offerings on their use can escalate the use of CRF fertilizers and ultimately increase the overall controlled-release fertilizers market size. Furthermore, the launch of various programs to educate farmers about the positive effects of using controlled-release fertilizers can further attract high slow-acting fertilizers market revenue during the foreseeable years.


By Type Analysis

“Coated & Encapsulated Fertilizers are dominating Global Marketplace – Slow-release Fertilizer Pellet are Expected to witness Considerable Growth due to their Superior Functionality.”

Globally, the coated & encapsulated fertilizers are the leading type of controlled-release fertilizers owing to their wide adoption and their broad availability across both developed as well as developing economies. Controlled release fertilizers with polyolefin resin coating is becoming extremely popular across agri-dominant economies due to their highly-controlled nutrient release characteristics. Use of a variety of organic and synthetic polymer coating to encapsulate fertilizers has emerged as a crucial method of increasing nutrient uptake in plants and promote healthy growth within them, several studies conducted in the past years have suggested the same.

Furthermore, the proliferating research on the production of biodegradable and cost-effective coating polymers for fertilizers is expected to further promote the growth of the segment. In the upcoming years focus on the development of controlled-release fertilizers using zeolites is projected to increase as they are economical and have better environmental performance.

By Application Analysis

“Fruits & Vegetables Segment is Expected to Grow at Fastest Pace”

The other segment which includes turf, ornamentals, and plantation crops, is the leading application segment for controlled-release fertilizers. Slow-release fertilizer for houseplants is easily available in developed as well as developing markets. Controlled-release fertilizers or delayed-release fertilizers can release nutrients within the plant from 3 months to 24 months, hence the growth process is a little slow.

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However, they can potentially reduce the labor and production costs required to produce ornamental plants, turfs, and other similar plant varieties. In the forthcoming years, the use of controlled-release fertilizers is expected to grow significantly in the production of high-value fruits & vegetable crops and cereals due to increasing concern over food security and rise in demand for efficient and smart fertilizers.


“Asia Pacific is leading Global Controlled-release Fertilizers Market with Fastest Growth Projection.”

The Asia Pacific controlled-release fertilizer market will register the fastest compound annual growth rate of 7.1% during 2019-2026. This can be attributed to robust increase in the population of Asian economies such as China and India, which is leading to increased food demand in the region. The controlled-release fertilizers market is experiencing promising growth in the western markets as well, attributed to their high utilization in ornamental plants and high-value crop production such as strawberries, lilies, and others.

In Asia Pacific, China and Japan are the two major markets of controlled-release fertilizers where their production, as well as consumption, is high. Growth of the product in China can be attributed to increasing research and innovation of agricultural products and the presence of market players such as Kingenta International, Hangfeng Evergreen, and others in the country. Furthermore, conducive policies regarding smart fertilizers in the aforementioned countries are also supporting their growth.

North America Market Size (by Value), 2018

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In developing markets, the rising use of controlled and slow-release fertilizers is leading to the urgency of the establishing  appropriate regulations and legislation to monitor their trade and safe supply. In developed markets of North America and Europe, many countries and states have their own agricultural policies including fertilizers, however appropriate regulations on controlled-release fertilizers are still awaited in a number of developed economies. The EU Fertilizing Products Regulation has set regulations for controlled-release fertilizers. The authority has also set some significantly high standards for the future uses of controlled-release fertilizers within the EU. For instance, from 2026 onwards encapsulating or coating fertilizers in polymers fulfilling the biodegradability requirements will be a compulsion and the use of chemically synthesized polymers will probably get banned.

At present, North America holds the largest slow-acting fertilizers market share due to the high utilization of controlled-release fertilizers by the horticulture sector of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The presence of a large number of significant market players such as Pursell Agri-Tech, Nutrien, LESCO, and others in the North American market is further attributed to rising in demand for smart and specialty fertilizers. The North America controlled-release fertilizer market size in 2019 was USD 1.09 billion. 

The United States market for controlled-release fertilizers is witnessing a strong year-on-year growth rate with exceptional sales performance put up by brands such as Koch Agronomic Services, Kugler Company, Nutrien, and Lebanon Seaboard Corp. In the past few years, there has been an increase in demand for these fertilizers by the agriculture industry of the U.S. for cereals and oilseed production, which was earlier limited to high-value crops and ornamental plant production. The above-mentioned factor is further anticipated to help this region continue earning high delayed-release fertilizers market revenue in the forecast duration.


“Moderately Consolidated Industry Structure in Global Controlled-release Fertilizers Market”

Private label and region-dominant players such as SQM, ICL, and Pursell have set new standards for innovation and development of cost-effective specialized fertilizers. This is further encouraging agriculture giants to scale up their product launch and expand their product portfolios in the foreseeable future.

Key giants in the U.S., China, and Japan fertilizer product industry are increasing their willingness to enter into the market due to the potentially promising growth of the product. In recent years, specialty fertilizer giants such as Kingenta, Haifa Chemicals,  and Agrium engaged in merger and acquisition activities to expand their product portfolio and increase their controlled-release fertilizer market share. For instance, in the past few years, Kingenta acquired two major specialty fertilizer companies – Ekompany and COMPO GmbH.                                                                                                                          

List Of Key Companies Profiled in Controlled-release Fertilizer Market :

  • Kingenta Ecological Engineering Co. Ltd.

  • Nutrien

  • ICL

  • Yara International

  • Haifa Chemicals

  • Helena Chemical


  • SQM

  • Pursell Agri-Tech

  • JNC Corporation

  • Koch Industries

Report Coverage 

An Infographic Representation of Controlled Release Fertilizers (CRF) Market

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The agriculture industry has witnessed significant growth in controlled-release fertilizer sales. The growing world population is stepping towards increased demand for specialty fertilizers and fertilizers with high efficacy. Furthermore, emerging controlled-release fertilizers trends and technologies such as innovation in fertilizer coating technology, and others will support the growth of the market in the future years.

The report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on the controlled-release fertilizer market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the slow-acting fertilizers market size and growth rate for all possible segments in the market.

Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of related markets, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key industry trends.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)


By Type

  • Slow-release

  • Coated & Encapsulated

  • N-Stabilizers

By Application

  • Cereals

  • Oilseeds & Pulses

  • Fruits & Vegetables

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico)

  • Europe (U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, Australia, and the Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, and the Rest of South America)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, UAE, and the Rest of the MEA)


  • In June 2021, Nutrien Ltd., the world’s major provider of crop services and solutions, announced implementing the Cat® Command for Dozing remote-control system at its Aurora, NC, Phosphate facility to create a safer working environment improve reliability. It is the first company in the fertilizer industry to implement this innovative technology, allowing workers to operate bulldozers safely from a few thousand feet away in an indoor control station.

  • In May 2021, Pursell Agri-Tech, a U.S.-based company that develops fertilizers to increase crop yields, entered into terms of building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Savannah, Georgia. It will significantly expand the reach of its next-generation coating technologies in the Southeast and beyond. The plant will produce controlled-release fertilizers (CRF) for the ornamental, agricultural, turf, and specialty markets.

  • In January 2021, ICL Specialty Fertilizers, a global leader in plant nutrition, developed the fifth generation of its innovative controlled-release fertilizer: Osmocote 5. The future of healthier plants lies in its tiny granules. With the ingenious OTEA System and the all-new NutriMatchRelease technology, growers have access to advanced levels of fertilizer that deliver superior plant health and leaf color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was valued at USD 2.37 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 3.862 Billion by 2026.

Growing at a CAGR of 6.37%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2019-2026)

Coated & Encapsulated segment is expected to be the leading segment based on type, in this market during the forecast period.

Amplifying demand for highly efficient fertilizers and increasing research on budget-friendly polymers for fertilizer coatings are driving the growth of the market.

Kingenta Ecological Engineering Group Co. Ltd., Nutrien, Haifa Group, ICL, and Yara International are few of the key players in the market.

North America is expected to hold the highest market share in the market in 2018.

Fruits & vegetables segment is expected to grow at the fastest pace during the forecast period.

The proliferating demand for cost-effective, specifically designed fertilizer and increasing innovation in the agriculture industry are the key market trends that are driving the growth of the market.

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