The Sprouting Market for Manganese Fertilizers in Brazil - Visual Capitalist
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The Sprouting Market for Manganese Fertilizers in Brazil

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The Sprouting Market for Manganese Fertilizers in Brazil

The Sprouting Market for Manganese Fertilizers in Brazil

Manganese fertilizer infographic presented by: Cancana

Manganese is primarily known for its uses in steel production, which makes up about 90% of the metal’s demand. However, it is less known for its important uses in batteries and particularly fertilizers.

Manganese is an essential micronutrient that is needed for plant and animal life. While it is needed in lesser amounts than the major fertilizer elements (N, P, K), the metal is essential for healthy growth of plants. There is no substitute for manganese in crops as it is needed chemically for photosynthesis.

Manganese is sufficient in most soils to supply crop needs, but may be deficient in dry conditions, sandy soils, high organic matter soils (especially peat and muck), and soils with high pH.

As the world’s largest net agricultural supplier, Brazil is the world’s breadbasket and agribusiness makes up almost a quarter of the country’s GDP.

Brazil, The World’s Breadbasket

Brazil produces 30% of the world’s soybeans and is also the crop’s #1 exporter with 41% of all shipments. Growth in soybean production is not stopping, and it continues to expand by 14.1% per year in Amazonian states, covering over eight million hectares.

However, there is a major problem for these farmers. This soil tends to be low in manganese micronutrients. Balanced plant nutrition with micronutrients can increase soybean yield by approximately 30%, yet manganese is the most common deficiency noted in soybean production in Brazil. Without it, farmers cannot maximize crop yield or revenues.

Purity and Grade

Not just any type of manganese will do. It has to be both high-purity and high-grade. Crops are eaten directly or indirectly by humans, so manganese must not have significant levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, or chromium. Brazil has specific regulations on the level of contaminants allowed, and therefore high-purity manganese is needed.

Manganese also has to be high-grade. Many fertilizer and feed applications call for high-grade ores with a minimum grade of 48%. As a result, more than a 30% premium is paid for high-grade, high-purity manganese ore.

Mato Grosso

Of particular interest is Mato Grosso, which uses more manganese than any other state in Brazil. This state is expected to account for 43.7% of the additional fertilizer and feed demand of manganese over the coming years, and high-grade sources of ore in this area will be particularly strategic.

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Energy

Visualizing U.S. Consumption of Fuel and Materials per Capita

Wealthy countries consume large amounts of natural resources per capita, and the U.S. is no exception. See how much is used per person.

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Visualizing U.S. Consumption of Fuel and Materials per Capita

This was originally posted on Elements. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on natural resource megatrends in your email every week.

Wealthy countries consume massive amounts of natural resources per capita, and the United States is no exception.

According to data from the National Mining Association, each American needs more than 39,000 pounds (17,700 kg) of minerals and fossil fuels annually to maintain their standard of living.

Materials We Need to Build

Every building around us and every sidewalk we walk on is made of sand, steel, and cement.

As a result, these materials lead consumption per capita in the United States. On average, each person in America drives the demand of over 10,000 lbs of stone and around 7,000 lbs of sand and gravel per year.

Material/Fossil FuelPounds Per Person
Stone10,643
Natural Gas9,456
Sand, Gravel7,088
Petroleum Products 6,527
Coal 3,290
Cement724
Other Nonmetals569
Salt359
Iron Ore239
Phosphate Rock 166
Sulfur66
Potash49
Soda Ash36
Bauxite (Aluminum)24
Other Metals 21
Copper13
Lead11
Zinc6
Manganese4
Total 39,291

The construction industry is a major contributor to the U.S. economy.

Crushed stone, sand, gravel, and other construction aggregates represent half of the industrial minerals produced in the country, resulting in $29 billion in revenue per year.

Also on the list are crucial hard metals such as copper, aluminum, iron ore, and of course many rarer metals used in smaller quantities each year. These rarer metals can make a big economic difference even when their uses are more concentrated and isolated—for example, palladium (primarily used in catalytic converters) costs $54 million per tonne.

Fuels Powering our Lives

Despite ongoing efforts to fight climate change and reduce carbon emissions, each person in the U.S. uses over 19,000 lbs of fossil fuels per year.

U.S. primary energy consumption by energy source, 2021

Gasoline is the most consumed petroleum product in the United States.

In 2021, finished motor gasoline consumption averaged about 369 million gallons per day, equal to about 44% of total U.S. petroleum use. Distillate fuel oil (20%), hydrocarbon gas liquids (17%), and jet fuel (7%) were the next most important uses.

Reliance on Other Countries

Over the past three decades, the United States has become reliant on foreign sources to meet domestic demand for minerals and fossil fuels. Today, the country is 100% import-reliant for 17 mineral commodities and at least 50% for 30 others.

In order to reduce the dependency on other countries, namely China, the Biden administration has been working to diversify supply chains in critical minerals. This includes strengthening alliances with other countries such as Australia, India, and Japan.

However, questions still remain about how soon these policies can make an impact, and the degree to which they can ultimately help localize and diversify supply chains.

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