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Phosphate Reserves 2023 (megatons)

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5,000

10,000

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20,000

25,000

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35,000

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45,000

50,000

Click on a country for details.

Phosphate Reserves by Country 2024

Phosphate is a compound consisting of a single phosphorous atom molecularly bonded to four oxygen atoms. It’s an important body electrolyte, as it plays a significant role in processes like energy production, DNA synthesis, and organic tissue growth.

It’s also an important source of phosphorous, which is a critical component in products like drinking water and agricultural fertilizer. For that reason, phosphate reserves around the world are vital to modern society and technology.

However, such reserves are not equally distributed from country to country and instead tend to concentrate in specific areas. Here’s a look at which countries and regions have the highest reserves, as well as a few contributing factors that may affect access.

Leading Phosphate-Producing Countries

In 2023, the world’s leading phosphate producers include the following countries:

  • Morocco is by far the world’s largest producer of phosphate, as it currently holds approximately 50 billion metric tons in reserve – about 70 percent of the world’s total phosphate
  • Egypt comes in second with 2.8 billion metric tons
  • Tunisia and Algeria hold 2.5 billion metric tons and 2.2 billion metric tons, respectively
  • China holds 1.9 billion metric tons
  • Brazil and South African each hold 1.6 billion metric tons

Other countries holding a significant portion of the world’s current phosphate reserves include Australia, the United States, Finland, Jordan, and Russia.

There are also certain regions of the world – such as the Western Sahara – that are technically phosphate-rich but present access issues for many of the stakeholders involved.

Factors That Contribute to Global Phosphate Distribution

There are various other factors that play into how phosphate is distributed and leveraged around the world. Here are some key examples to keep in mind.

Geological Factors

A country’s ongoing geological history is a huge factor in the prevalence of naturally occurring phosphate within its borders. Some processes – such as mineralization and sedimentation – take many millions of years to come to fruition.

Technological Access

Having naturally occurring phosphate within borders is really only part of the battle when it comes to a country’s phosphate reserves. That country must also possess the ability to extract it, which is largely dependent on technological capabilities.

Environmental Concerns

Increasingly strict environmental regulations may also impact a particular country’s ability to successfully mine, store, and export its phosphate stores.

Geopolitical Relationships

As with anything to do with global resources, geopolitical relations definitely factor into a country’s ability to access, exploit, and benefit from phosphate located in certain world regions.

  • Reserve totals are expressed in Megatons (Mt), a unit of measure equal to 1 million (10⁶) tons, or 1 billion (10⁹) kilograms.
  • Production totals are expressed in thousands of tons.
  • In addition to the countries listed, other (unlisted) countries have reserves totalling 2600 megatons and produced 1,600,000 tons of phosphate in 2022 and 1,950,000 tons in 2021.

Download Table Data

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Country
Phosphate Reserves 2023 (megatons)
Phosphate Production 2022 (1000 tons)
Phosphate Production 2021 (1000 tons)
Morocco50,00040,00038,100
Egypt2,8005,0005,000
Tunisia2,5004,0003,730
Algeria2,2001,8001,400
China1,90085,00090,000
Brazil1,6005,5006,000
South Africa1,6001,6002,130
Saudi Arabia1,4009,0009,200
Australia1,1002,5002,500
United States1,00021,00021,600
Jordan1,00010,00010,000
Finland1,0001,000990
Russia60013,00014,000
Kazakhstan2601,5001,500
Peru2104,2004,200
Uzbekistan100900900
Israel603,0002,430
Turkey50800600
Senegal502,6002,100
India461,4001,400
Mexico30450488
Vietnam304,5004,500
Togo301,5001,000

Which country has the largest phosphate reserves?

Morocco had 50 billion metric tons of phosphate in reserve, the world's highest volume. These reserves are a significant portion of the world's total 72 billion metric tons.

Frequently Asked Questions

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