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Global Agrochemical Industry

The world agrochemical market is predicted to reach $223 billion in 2015, according to industry research. This represents a yearly growth rate of almost 11% in the five-year period ending 2015. Market drivers include growing population, declining availability of arable land, and agrochemical use in biofuel production.

Fertilizers provide nutrients needed for optimal crop growth, essentially making up for nutrients that the soil may be lacking. Nitrogenous fertilizers represent close to half the market but segment growth is relatively low. Phosphatic fertilizers represent a smaller market share but the segment shows more rapid growth. Organophosphate pesticides are predicted to gain increasing market share due to its many chemicals, including chlorpyrifos and glyphosate.

Programs such as Integrated Pest Management and Integrated Nutrient Management limit potential health, economic and environmental risks from using agrochemicals. The former puts practices in place to limit economic damage due to pests by preventing infestation and intervening when necessary. Integrated Nutrient Management seeks to conserve plant nutrient supply and soil fertility at appropriate levels to optimize productivity.

Agrochemical Industry Key Market Segments

World fertilizer demand is set to grow 3% yearly through 2014, reports Freedonia. Phosphate and potash are leading products. Fertilizer market growth is quite dependent on the agricultural industry. When raw material costs rose and crop prices lost stability amidst the global financial crisis, farmers used less fertilizer or suspended fertilizer applications to offset price pressures elsewhere. Increased concern regarding the optimal soil nutrient balance will fuel demand for phosphate, potash, organic and multi-nutrient fertilizers. The US housing market dictates the state of commercial and consumer fertilizer markets to some degree. Fertilizer demand will also grow as the US housing market rebounds, and homeowners have more disposable income for gardening and lawn care. However, commercial and consumer fertilizer markets will remain less than 5% of the global market. The fertilizer market will see most rapid growth in Central and South America through 2014. Brazil has become a major player in the global agricultural industry, using fertilizers to boost agricultural production. Other countries in the region have followed suit, fuelling fertilizer demand. The Africa-Middle East region represents the smallest regional market and will remain at the lower end despite above-average growth.

The world pesticide industry is worth $45 billion, according to Freedonia. Revenue is restricted by market maturity and a tough pricing environment. In established markets such as Western Europe and North America, growth is expected to be below average in the years to come as commercial outfits and consumers try to restrict unnecessary pesticide use. Japanese market growth will also be quite slow. Asia-Pacific is expected to see strong growth, with above-average agricultural growth in Thailand, Indonesia and China fuelling crop-protection chemical demand. India is also introducing pesticide usage where traditionally it has been absent. Central and South America are expected to see the greatest growth in pesticide demand, particularly in Brazil.

US demand for lawn and garden consumables is set to grow at almost 3.5% yearly through 2014 to exceed $9 billion, according to Freedonia. The market includes seeds, growing media, mulch, pesticides and fertilizers. Home gardening activity is fuelled by unstable economic conditions, concerns over food safety and a rebound in the housing sector, which means new homeowners need landscaping for newly built houses. Gains in the sector will be negatively impacted by nonresidential construction and slowing growth in the golf industry. Fertilizers and other growth products will show the biggest increase through 2014, fuelled by demand for products such as premium soils and fast-acting fertilizers. Better product quality, wider product ranges and lower prices will boost sales of organics.

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