2012/02 Turkey: Gubretas is seeking to ensure its phosphate supply

Istanbul-based fertilizer maker Gubre Fabrikalari T.A.S. (also known as Gubretas) is involved in the manufacture and sale of chemical fertilizers and phosphoric acid. The company operates two manufacturing plants in Turkey, which are located at Yarimca and Iskenderun, and controls about a quarter of the Turkish fertilizer market.

In 2008 Gubretas bought half of Razi Petrochemical Co., Iran largest fertilizer company, for US$650 million as lower natural-gas prices in Iran spurred production of fertilizer raw materials such as ammonia and urea. Razi sells its products inside Iran and also to markets like China, India and Bangladesh through Rain Trade Co., a company it owns in Turkey.

In the same fashion, Gubretas is now seeking to ensure its phosphate supply, in a country were some 30 percent of the fertilizer production is based on phosphate. Company sources said they are willing to invest something between US$150 million to US$1 billion in order to acquire phosphate capacity production in North Africa, in order to tap their access to secure and not expensive raw material.

Gubretas aims to boost sales 6 percent this year, after 8 percent growth in 2011 to US$1.2 billion. Of the total, 52 percent is from Turkey. Iranian unit Razi had a profit of US$250 million in 2011. It is estimated that the fertilizer market in Turkey will grow some 3 percent this year after it shrank 2 percent in 2011.

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