|Herausgeber: Dana Zimmer, Jörg Köhn, 2016|
|Phosphorus resource economics - A review|
BIOP Working Paper, 2016-1
P is not a physically scarce resource but more than 90 per cent of the stock is not technically extractable. Economic scarcity takes this and other aspects into consideration. The price spike in 2007/8 induced a scientific debate on a "peak P" similar to the dispute on the oil peak back in the 1970ies. The processing use of phosphate rock to P fertilizers fed the Green Revolution and therefore was seen a chance to overcome the hunger on Earth. Thus, the expansive use of P had serious negative impacts to the reserve stock of P. However, if and only if business sees a certain price margin as a threshold beyond P cannot be explored with benefit for agricultural use only in this case P really gets a scarce resource. The peak price shock in P had almost other reasons than a real physical shortcoming in the reserve stocks. Moreover, if that threshold would be exceeded recycling technologies and better management practices in the field will serve the agriculture with enough P to support food production. Along with this other strategies may lower the pressure on P reserves and the resource stock as a whole.