Metal chelates are compounds wherein a metal ion is bonded to an anion at more than one attachment sites. Chelation is a natural process that occurs to prevent the absorbed nutrients from precipitating. Organic substances present in the soil and produced by microorganisms are natural chelating agents. Hydroxamate siderophores are organic substances produced by microorganisms to transport and solubilize nutrients. However, presence of natural chelating agents is not enough to accelerate the crop yield. The role of synthetic metal chelates comes into play for curbing nutrient starvation in plants.

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Synthetic iron chelates are used extensively to feed iron-starving crops. The market for metal chelates can be segmented on the basis of nutrients they supply to the crop, mode of their application, and scarcity of micronutrients in the soil. Nutrients required for plants are categorized as macronutrients and micronutrients. Nutrients required in large quantities are macronutrients and nutrients required only in trace quantities are micronutrients. Macronutrients are sub-categorized as primary, secondary, and tertiary nutrients. The element potassium falls under primary macronutrients. It is essential for regulating water loss from leaves. Calcium and magnesium fall under secondary and tertiary macronutrients, respectively. On the other hand, elements such as iron, molybdenum, boron, copper, manganese, sodium, zinc, and nickel are included in the list of micronutrients.

Micronutrients are highly scarce nutrients found in soil. The micronutrients segment is projected to drive the market for metal chelates during the forecast period. Rising population and increasing awareness among farmers coupled with high demand for food products are also the drivers for the global metal chelates market. However, the market is hampered by stringent environmental regulations regarding utilization of biodegradable metal chelates. Opportunities are present for metal chelates manufacturers for penetrating the market with a bio degradable metal chelate.

The market for metal chelates in Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America is estimated to expand. Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the global market for metal chelates owing to rising population, arable land, and micronutrient-deficient soil in the region. Rapidly increasing population has surged the demand for food and forced farmers in Asia Pacific to grow crops with high yield by utilizing external growth-promoting agents. Asia Pacific is anticipated to hold a significant share in the global market for metal chelates. This is attributable to rapidly rising population, availability of arable land, and zinc-deficient soils in China and India. The market share held by Europe is anticipated to rise at a significant rate due to large population in Russia.

North America is also expected to be an attractive market due to arable land, which is primarily concentrated in the U.S. Scarcity of micronutrients is likely to be a factor driving the market for metal chelates during the forecast period in Middle East & Africa.

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Key players operating in the global market for metal chelates are AVA Chemicals Private Limited, M&M Industries, Qingyuan Mutual Bio Techniques Co. Ltd., Shanghai Joint Hope International Trade Corporation, Micromix Plant Health Limited, Farmtech Agriland Corporation, AkzoNobel, Gujarat State Fertilizer & Chemicals, Aris Agro Limited, Valagro, and Chemicnova. AVA Chemicals Private Limited is a holding manufacturer of metal chelates and manufactures chelated calcium, chelated manganese and chelated copper which are the essential micronutrients required for plant growth. Gujarat State Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited provides a micro mix fertilizer which contains a mix of all the essential micronutrients like zinc, iron, copper, manganese, and boron.

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