Fast-Growing Fungicide Markets

Talk among watchers of worldwide crops indicates the global use of fungicides will continue to outpace the insecticide and herbicide markets as farmers continue to take advantage of favorable soft commodity prices and invest in higher yields. Meanwhile, manufacturers of fungicides plan to address diverse world climates and market conditions.

The global agrochemical market will keep growing in the future – around 2.2% annually between 2010 and 2015, according to Phillips McDougall. However, fungicides are expected to have a higher growth rate than insecticides, so in the mid term (by 2015) fungicides will have a higher market value than insecticides.

“In 2009 and 2010, we didn’t see quite as much fungicide growth as we expected,” says Matthew Phillips, partner at Phillips McDougall. “That was primarily due to later warm weather.

In 2011, we saw early spring. Fungicides are primarily a crop-driven market that drives yield. When you’ve got increased wealth and economic conditions, you’ll generally see more fungicide usage. As go good crops, here come fungicides.”

Early seasonal crops in Europe and South America tend to have a trickle-down effect for fungicide use by farmers in the United States, he adds. “We’re looking at three seasonal applications, the third being the most expensive. All have a ‘greening effect’ that keeps crops fresh. When the economics are right, farmers will invest vast monies to bolster yields.”

Significantly, high soft commodity prices also play a key role in fungicide usage. A primary indicator of the soft commodity market is cotton. For example, the US market saw historic levels of increases in 2010 with prices spiking 80% in summer months to the $1.30-a-pound range. “Due to high soft commodity prices, farmers have been willing to invest in their crops and apply fungicide even in situations with less disease pressure,” says Elise Kisling, BASF head of media relations, crop protection.

Five products currently drive the fungicide market. 

  • Azoxystrobin ($1 billion annually)
  • Pyraoxystrobin ($700 million)
  • Mancozeb ($600 million)
  • Chlorothalonil ($535 million)
  • Copper-based fungicides ($450 million)

A new trend emerging among fungicide manufacturers is treating “disease complexes” with chemicals that stem more than one disease state. These hydrogenate inhibitors “kill a whole trend of diseases. It’s like taking medicine for headache and having it treat your headache and your allergy at the same time,” Phillips says.

The main requirements for fungicides today are effective disease control, broad spectrum control, physiological effects, use restriction due to the regulatory profile, maximum residue levels, resistance management, and easy-to-use formulations.

“BASF is planning to address the needs of farmers with several new technologies. In fungicides, the main innovations will be Xemium, which has an active ingredient for broad-spectrum disease control in a wide range of crops for reliable and flexible use, which provides higher yield and improved quality, and Initium, which has an environmentally friendly chemistry with a new mode of action for vine and vegetable growers,” Kisling says.

An increase in worldwide demand for high-quality food is perhaps the most compelling factor driving fungicide use. This is particularly true of driving the yield of Europe’s wheat and barley, fruits and vegetables, soybeans, rice, and maize, Phillips says.

Feeding a growing world population is daunting to today’s farmers. “Today’s growers face a huge challenge: They will be instrumental in feeding a growing global population,” says Pete Thomas, global portfolio manager, DuPont Crop Protection. “We will need to double food production by 2050 if we are to meet this escalating need. Clearly, improving crop productivity and protecting food quality is part of that equation.”

People in rapidly developing countries including China and India are demanding higher volumes of food, he says, and seeking more nutritious food. Those desires are increasing demand for many commodities, from grains to protein sources, which has in turn put upward pressure on commodity prices.

“So you can see we are serious about helping growers feed the world,” Thomas says. “Toward that end, we have developed collaborative approaches to research and development that are bringing new crop protection solutions to market more effectively and in concert with countries around the world.”

As growers begin to see the benefits of fungicides in helping them achieve this goal, they are more willing to invest in the technology. The more willing they are to invest, the more valuable crop protection is to the marketplace.

• Generic Agrochemical Companies Report Growth in 2010

“At DuPont, we see this as an opportunity to work with our customers to provide fungicide answers that help them continue to improve the health, quantity and quality of their crops in the face of the world’s growing food security challenges,” Thomas says. “Quite simply, it’s good business for them and it’s good business for us.”

DuPont has been working with customers and regulators in regions around the world to launch several new fungicides in a family of products based on picoxystrobin under the brand names DuPont Approach and Acanto, which are already in use in a number of regions. Approach is slated for launch in the United States in the second quarter of 2012, pending regulatory approvals. In addition, the company anticipates regulatory approval to launch two other new fungicides, Fontelis and Vertisan, by year-end in the United States.

Look for China, India and Brazil to emerge as countries that will drive the growth for agrochemicals and consequently fungicides, Phillips says.

Together those three countries will represent almost 40% of agrochemical market growth until 2015. However, growth coming from the United States, Canada, Germany and France together will represent 15 percent of the agrochemical market growth, according to statistics supplied by BASF.

“Growers adopt technology based on their specific local needs, pests and value that technology delivers,” says Paul Minehart, head of corporate communications North America, Syngenta.

In 2010, emerging market fungicide volumes were up significantly in Latin America and Asia linked to increased technology adoption as well as disease pressure, Minehart says. In the first half of 2011, it has seen growth in fungicide sales across all regions, notably in North America.

“Growers make their buying decisions based on need and value delivered,” Minehart says. “A combination of agronomic and market demands combined with advanced technology has impacted the uptake and use of fungicides.”

Fungicides

Agrichemicals

Syngenta Launches Plenaris Seed Treatment

Syngenta announced today the launch of Plenaris seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower.

Agrichemicals

Bayer Launches New Fungicide Seed Treatment Scenic in Chile

Bayer Chile has recently introduced Scenic — its new cutting-edge product for fungicide seed treatment of cereals. Following the motto,

Agrichemicals

FMC Adds California Registration for Rhyme Chemigation Applications

Rhyme fungicide from FMC, registered for a wide range of specialty crops throughout the U.S., received approval from the California

Rice Closeup
Agrichemicals

Cambodian Government Recalls Fungicide to Conform to New EU Rules

The government has ordered a nationwide recall of the fungicide tricyclazole to keep its rice exports eligible for the important

Agrichemicals

CAC 2017: 3 Key Takeaways

China International Agrochemical and Crop Protection Exhibition (CAC), held March 1-3, 2017 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)

Wheat
Agrichemicals

Syngenta Receives Further Expansion of SOLATENOL Fungicide in Europe

Syngenta has announced that the registration of its SDHI fungicide SOLATENOL has been further extended in Europe following approval by

Fungicides

Bayer Debuts Trilex EverGol Shield In Canada

Bayer CropScience has introduced new Trilex EverGol SHIELD fungicide and insecticide seed treatment, for complete disease and insect protection in

Agrichemicals

Bayer, Monsanto Explore Asset Sale

Bayer and Monsanto are exploring the sale of about $2.5 billion of assets as they seek regulatory approval for their $66 billion

Agrichemicals

Overview of the Indian Crop Protection Market

Agriculture is the backbone of Indian economy with 52% of the population engaged in agriculture and related activities. But the

nufarm logo
Agrichemicals

Nufarm Launches New Seed Treatment Solutions

The new products include three new Spirato seed treatments, Sativa IMF Sembolite MAX, and Salient 372 FS.

Agrichemicals

Stockton’s ‘Hybrid’ Conventional/Bio Fungicide Registered in Israel

REGEV, its first ever hybrid fungicide, obtained registration from the Ministry of Agriculture in Israel for the control of fungal plant diseases.

Agrichemicals

Arysta LifeScience Receives EPA Approval on Two In-Furrow Products

TEPERA brand fungicides will help corn, soybean plants get an early, healthy start.

Agrichemicals

Slower to Pull the Trigger on Fungicides, U.S. Growers Asking More Questions

"Growers will try to do some scouting and decision-making on whether they really need that product or not based on probability of return.” -Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin

Agrichemicals

India’s Registration Committee Adopts New Rules for Import and Manufacturing

The Registration Committee considered the governments “Make in India” agenda while deliberating issues and suggesting various changes to the rules

Agrichemicals

Opinion: Trump’s Trans-Pacific Partnership Decision a Head Scratcher

Editor’s Note: Matthew J. Grassi is Field Editor with CropLife® magazine a sister publication to AgriBusiness Global. Matthew can be reached

Agrichemicals

Brazil Suspends 63 Fungicides Targeting Asian Soybean Rust

Resistance of the fungus to fungicides has spread widely in the country.

Africa/Middle East

Farmers Scrutinize Costs as Acreage for Major Crops Decreases

The total planting area of eight staple crops in the United States will decline almost annually through 2026, with acreage

Agrichemicals

Embrapa, Bayer to Map Mechanism of Soybean Disease Resistance to Fungicides

The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and Bayer have established a partnership to study the mechanisms that cause soybean pathogenic

Agrichemicals

Arysta LifeScience Introduces Seed Treatment for Soybeans

RANCONA V 100 PRO combines two fungicides that provide both contact and systemic activity against a broad spectrum of diseases.

Latest News

Americas

The Mixing Bowl Event Connects Technology, Food, and Ag Innovators

For the fourth consecutive year, The Mixing Bowl presents FOOD IT, under the theme “Fork to Farm.” Action-oriented entrepreneurs, industry

Asia

Acadian Plant Health Launches Biostimulants, BioSwitch Technology in India

Acadian Plant Health (APH), a division of Acadian Seaplants Ltd. (ASL), announces new partnerships and the launch of its biostimulants

Agrichemicals

Tax Rebates to Boost China’s Formulation Exports

This issue was a long-time thorn in the eyes of China’s industry, lowering motivation for value-added processing of technical into formulations and slowing down development.

Agrichemicals

Syngenta Launches Plenaris Seed Treatment

Syngenta announced today the launch of Plenaris seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower.

Adjuvants

Specialty Chemical Companies Clariant and Huntsman to Merge

Clariant and Huntsman Corp. announced they will combine in a merger of equals through an all-stock transaction.