Global Pesticide Market: Rising Demand for Food to Secure Moderate But Robust Market Growth

Pesticides And Other Agrochemical Products November 15, 2018
Author: IndexBox
Market Analyst

IndexBox has just published a new report "World - Pesticides - Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights". Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Pesticides consumption is growing globally 

Pesticides are chemical substances that are used globally for pest control to improve agricultural output. Essentially, pesticides are used during the crop production process to prevent weeds infestation (herbicides), fungi (fungicides)  or disease (disinfectants) spread, and to save the harvest from insects (insecticides). 

According to IndexBox estimates, in 2017, approx. 6.8M tonnes of pesticides were consumed worldwide, an increase of 5% against the previous year. The total consumption volume increased at an average annual rate of +4.0% from 2007 to 2017 and observed an increase every year since 2007. The majority of world pesticide consumption comes from the agricultural sector which has been expanding alongside the population and disposable income growth worldwide. 

The global population has increased by over 12% since 2007 and has been driving agricultural production, especially in large countries with a developed agrarian sector, such as China. 

The most prominent rate of growth with regard to pesticide consumption was recorded in 2016, when consumption increased by 6% against the previous year: after almost ideal long-term weather conditions were predicted, expectation remained high in terms of grain production and the acreage of harvested area in Australia, China, and South America surged as a result. The 2014-2015 slowdown occurred as a result of the global downturn in main grains supply expectations following a prolonged dry period and poor monsoon rainfall. Over the period under review, global pesticide consumption attained its peak figure volume in 2017, and is likely to continue its growth in the near future. 

The global pesticide market revenue amounted to $40B in 2017, rising by 7% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers' margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +3.5% over the period from 2007 to 2017; however, it experienced a sharp drop in demand in the 2014/2015 grain season due to relatively low production expectations and an associated pesticide price fall; the deep slump of the oil price was also a factor, affecting the prices for numerous commodities and chemical raw materials.

China is the leading consumer of pesticides worldwide

China (842K tonnes) constituted the country with the largest volume of pesticide consumption, comprising approx. 12% of total consumption. China is the largest wheat, soybean and rice producer in the world and the second largest corn producer, which explains its remarkable demand for pesticides. Moreover, pesticide consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the world’s second largest consumer, the U.S. (419K tonnes), twofold. India (342K tonnes) ranked third in terms of total consumption, with a 5% share. India and the USA also feature amongst the largest grain producers globally; the rest of the market is divided relatively evenly. In China, pesticide consumption expanded at an average annual rate of +3.5% over the period from 2007-2017. Nonetheless, the fastest growing consuming countries were Brazil (+14% per year) and Australia (+8.7% per year).

Herbicides are the most popular pesticides

Herbicides, anti-sprouting products and plant-growth regulators (2.9M tonnes) account for 42% of total consumption and are the most popular type of pesticides. According to numerous research findings, weeds are incredibly harmful to crop yield, especially in the early stage, and may account for up to 40% of yield reduction. Herbicides, aimed at harmless weed control, as well as being relatively cost-efficient, are therefore useful in terms of output and cost.

The consumption of disinfectants (1.1M tonnes), which are used to protect crops and livestock from harmful diseases directly or to sterilize microorganisms, is almost threefold less than that of herbicides. Weeds require a much larger scale of pesticide chemical use due to higher resistance to approved herbicides, therefore comprising a larger share of consumption. Insecticides and fungicides take up to 14% and 13% of the market share respectively.

From 2007 to 2017, the annual CAGR of the volume of herbicides consumption stood at +5.4%. For the other types, the average yearly rates were as follows: disinfectants (+3.1% per year), insecticides (+4.3% per year) and fungicides (+3.8% per year). The rates of growth, apart from those for herbicides, do not differ much and reflect regular patterns of consumption growth associated with agriculture sector expansion throughout the period. Approved herbicides, although still useful and practical, are becoming less efficient due to the growing resistance of weeds, which causes farmers to use larger amounts for the same harvested area.

Global pesticide consumption is expected to decelerate, but continue strong growth

Global demand for pesticides is strongly correlated with livestock and grain demand. Food products derived from meat and grains traditionally assume a large share in diet worldwide. With the population growing worldwide and set to increase by 8% by 2025, global per capita GDP is likely to increase by over 25%, and the demand for pesticides is equally expected to follow an upward trend. The demand for food products is most substantial in the emerging Asian countries, such as China and India, and the USA. Therefore, global grain and meat demand would be driven by these markets, which would then generate further pesticide consumption growth. 

Despite growing concerns regarding the environmental impact of using pesticides, the market is growing and is expected to sustain its growth in the immediate term. Research and development in this industrial sector are expanding, thereby securing the improvement of pesticide substances and compounds towards being more effective and environmentally-friendly. This will guarantee market growth in the near future.

At the same time, global population growth is decelerating, and the agricultural sector is slowly adopting genetically modified crops, which in the long term might significantly affect the industry. Nevertheless, the regulation of genetically modified products and the costs of associated research and development make the possible effects relatively insignificant in the medium term. 

The market is not deviating significantly from the underlying trend, and its performance is forecasted to decelerate, though not substantially, relative to the 2007-2017 period. It is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next eight years, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +2.6%, which is projected to bring the market volume to 8.4M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Do you want to know more about the global pesticide market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on 

  • pesticide market share
  • pesticide prices
  • pesticide industry
  • pesticide sales
  • pesticide import
  • pesticide export
  • pesticide market forecast
  • pesticide price forecast
  • key pesticide producers

Source: World - Pesticides - Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights