August 29, 1997
World Pesticide Market Expands
The world pesticide market grew for the third year in a row,
according to three independent industry estimates. The
British Agrochemical Association (BAA) reports that sales
around the world rose 3.6% in 1996 to approximately US$31.25
billion. Another estimate by the German industrial
association (IVA) shows total world sales rising 4.4%. A
third estimate by Allan Woodburn Associates, a UK consulting
firm, reports a 2.2% increase in the 1996 world market.
Estimates show North America accounting for the highest level
of pesticide sales. Approximately 30.6% of sales were in
North America compared to 26% in Western Europe and 22.5% in
East Asia, according to BAA. South America accounted for
11.9% of sales and the rest of the world accounted for the
An increase in land used for coarse grains and wheat
accounted for a significant portion of the growth. Soybeans
were also planted on more land in 1996, but plantings of
other major pesticide-using crops, including cotton, rice and
oilseeds, declined. The German industry report stated that
cereals, cotton, maize, rice and soybeans accounted for more
than half of the world pesticide market.
The South American market, particularly Argentina and Brazil,
recorded the highest growth, with pesticide sales increasing
13.2%. Higher prices for commodities encouraged greater
plantings of soybeans, oilseeds, maize and wheat. The German
industry report said that Latin America's share of the world
market is 13%, up from 11% in 1995.
Increasing sales in Canada and the U.S. were attributed to
greater plantings of maize, soybeans and wheat, as well as to
an increase in conservation tillage practices in the U.S. --
which typically use greater amounts of herbicides. IVA
estimated that North America's share of the world market grew
3% in 1996. North American sales of transgenic crops also
rose, with sales of more than US$200 million.
Markets in East Asia fell, due largely to shrinking acreage
of paddy rice in Japan. Japan's pesticide market declined 12%
in dollar sales, leading to a 5.4% decline for overall sales
in East Asia, despite growth in China, India, Indonesia and
the Philippines. Africa's share of the world market shrank
from 3% to 2% in U.S. dollar sales, but remained level in
local currency terms.
Herbicides accounted for the greatest portion of pesticide
sales, with 48% of the world market. Insecticides accounted
for 28% of the market and fungicides approximately 19%.
Insecticide sales declined somewhat due to reduced cotton
plantings in Brazil, China and the U.S.
The global pesticide industry is optimistic about continuing
sales growth, according to the British Agrochemicals
Association, which foresees growth of 2-3% in real terms for
1997. Markets in Brazil, India, China, Mexico, Argentina,
Western Europe and the U.S. are all expected to grow, ranging
from 1% in Western Europe to 5% in China. The BAA predicts
that pesticide sales in the U.S. will be boosted by wider use
of genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops, and by
the Freedom to Farm Act, which will lead to greater plantings
Source: Agrow: World Crop Protection News, July 11, 1997.
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