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Global demand for agricultural pesticides is projected to rise 3.3% per year to $79.8 billion in 2025. The most significant gains are expected in Central and South America, where expansions in cropland, a shift in crop mix, and greater intensity of agricultural production will continue to necessitate greater use of pesticides. Above average gains are also expected in Eastern Europe, the Asia/Pacific region, and the Africa/Mideast region. Growth in value terms in these regions will be supported by improved supply chains offering greater access to a wider variety of pesticide products; a shift to newer, more expensive pesticides; and intensification and industrialization of agricultural practices.
In the more established agricultural pesticide markets in North America and Western Europe, gains in pesticide demand in value terms will primarily be supported by continued gradual increases in average prices as users shift to an improving selection of newer pesticide formulations.
Rising Agricultural Output, Shifts in Crop Mix Will Require Greater Pesticide Application Rates
With the exceptions of Central and South America and the Africa/Mideast region, total cropland is expected to stay nearly flat in most regions, which will require greater use of agricultural inputs – including pesticides – to maximize agricultural production in order to meet global needs. Additionally, many countries in Central and South America, the Asia/Pacific region, and the Africa/Mideast region are shifting their product mix away from agricultural products for domestic consumption to more valuable crops for export. The higher value of these export crops will support increased investment in crop protection products, in addition to increasing the need for greater productivity on other cropland to ensure that domestic needs are still met.
Evolving Regulatory Standards, Public Expectations to Impact Product Mix
Regulatory standards will continue to play a strong role in the global agricultural pesticide market, with bans on several key active ingredients – such as chlorpyrifos and glyphosate – becoming more common around the world. Newer pesticide formulations with novel combinations of active ingredients and adjuvants will support pesticide demand gains in dollar terms, as these newer products are generally branded and more expensive. Even in countries with fewer pesticide bans or more lax regulatory environments, farmers are increasingly turning away from pesticides with negative reputations in order to meet consumers’ standards.
Changing Crop Threats, Resistant Pest Populations Will Impact Pesticide Use
High application rates and misuse of pesticides have contributed to more resistant varieties of weeds, insects, diseases, and other threats to agricultural production. Pesticide resistance will continue to encourage suppliers to offer a greater range of proprietary formulations to supplement the use of more established pesticides. Additionally, changing crop threats due to an increasingly volatile global climate will continue to support greater use of pesticides to protect crops already threatened by drought, floods, heat waves, and other events.
Demand by Region
The primary determinants of demand levels and growth at the regional level are trends in:
crop and commodity prices
Other factors affecting agricultural pesticide use include:
climate and local weather conditions
local pest species
availability or legality of certain pesticide products
adoption of genetically modified crop varieties
the affluence of a given country and its agricultural sector
The increasingly mechanized and automated nature of the world’s agriculture industry, including a stagnant or declining number of people directly participating in raising the world’s crops, has necessitated a greater reliance on technological solutions, including the use of pesticides. When used appropriately, pesticides can reduce the amount of labor required to successfully raise a crop with a profitable yield.
Generally speaking, in rapidly industrializing agricultural sectors, the shift toward cash crops and export products tends to boost the amount of investment on pesticides to protect the farmer’s crops. These types of farms are often too large for nonchemical pest control measures (e.g., weeding and hand removal of insects), and many of these crops are susceptible to a wide range plant diseases.
Global demand for agricultural pesticides is projected to increase 3.3% per year to $79.8 billion in 2025:
In developing markets, particularly India, Africa, and other areas in which pesticide use rates are low, gains will be supported by a general increase in the quantities of pesticides being used.
In mature, developed pesticide markets, such as the United States and Western Europe, gains are expected to be driven by the shift to higher priced products, rather than any substantial change in the overall volume of pesticides used in agricultural production.
Growth will generally be fastest in areas that are still evolving into widespread users of specialty crop protection products, and in regions that are undergoing changes to their agricultural industries – such as in Central and South America – where rainforests and other land are still being converted to farmland for raising cash crops.
This study analyzes the world market for agricultural pesticides. Products focused on are:
other pesticides and repellants, including:
defoliants and desiccants
Also included in the scope of this report are repellants, which instead of killing pests, are designed to repel or discourage their presence.
Excluded from coverage in this report are:
bulk commodities such as copper, sulfur, and petroleum oils
disinfectants and antimicrobials – which are often regulated as pesticides
commercial (including floriculture) and consumer (including home edible gardening)
Demand is also segmented by the following crops:
vegetables and potatoes
other crops (e.g., oilseeds, beans, sugar cane, rubber, pasture and forage crops)
Historical data for 2010, 2015 and 2020, and forecasts to 2025 and 2030 are provided for demand in current (including inflation) US dollars. Unless otherwise specified, data are for formulated pesticide products (i.e., the first level of formulation after the production of technical-grade pesticide active ingredients). As used in this study, the term “demand” refers to sales or apparent consumption. Tabular details may not add to totals due to independent rounding. Ratios may be rounded for the sake of clarity.