Influence of COVID-19 pandemic on fertilizer companies: The role of competitive advantages

Resour Policy. 2021 Jun:71:102019. doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2021.102019. Epub 2021 Feb 18.


The global crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic exerted significant impact upon most industries, however, the fertilizer industry has shown some resilience in the supply chain during the crisis. The main research question of the paper concerns the major factors ensuring the resilience of fertilizer companies under such circumstances. The paper presents current situation on the mineral fertilizers market, the influence of COVID-19 pandemic on fertilizer companies, and identifies the main market and industry trends. Then, it offers analytical framework for revealing key factors of success (potential competitive advantages) in the fertilizer industry as well as discusses their role in ensuring resilience of the companies during the crisis. The paper suggests categorization of competitive advantages that helps to identify the sustainable ones. It also reveals special role played by competitive advantages, based on core competencies, and justifies why they need to be developed in this new situation caused by the pandemic. One of the main findings in the paper is the conclusion about «global immunity» of fertilizer companies to environmental turbulence, as well as the conclusion about the new role and the need to transform traditional competitive advantages for the further successful growth of fertilizer companies.

Keywords: COVID-19; Competitive advantages; Crisis; Environmental turbulence; Fertilizer companies; Fertilizer industry.